Conference USA Championship Game – December 5, 2009: No. 18 HOUSTON Cougars (10-2, 6-2) vs. EAST CAROLINA Pirates (8-4, 7-1)





Two-time East Division champion East Carolina will try to capture

a second consecutive league title when it faces off against West

Division winner Houston in the Fifth Annual Conference USA

Championship Game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Saturday beginning

at 12 noon (EST). The Pirates, who are bidding to become

the first repeat winner since C-USA implemented divisional play in 2005, will also

look to extend their home winning streak to eight straight against conference members.

The Cougars were the last Conference USA squad to hand ECU a setback in Greenville,

racking up 621 yards on the way to a 41-24 triumph on Sept. 27, 2008.













Eleven winning or .500 seasons in the last 15-plus years (four straight) …







Ten bowl appearances since 1990; six since 2000 (four straight) …







Has won nine of the last 10 (and 12 of 14) games against C-USA members …







Has won seven-straight (and 10 of 11) home games against C-USA members …







Has won seven of the last nine games against C-USA West Division members …







Has won four of the last five home games against C-USA West Division members …







Has won 18 of the last 20 games when holding its opponent to 24 points or less …







Has scored 17 or more first half points in its last five games against C-USA members …







Has forced 2.8 turnovers in its last five games against C-USA members …







Has held last seven opponents to 8-of-53 third-down conversions of six-plus yards …












Record –

Division champion;


the Pirates face off against Houston. ECU’s contest against the Cougars will be the

Pirates’ 757th since the start of football in 1932 (386-358-12/.519).

8-4 (.667); C-USA Record/East Division Standing – 7-1 (.875)/EastLast 5 Games – 4-1; Last 10 Games – 7-3; Last 15 Games – 10-Streaks – Overall, East Carolina will play the 64th game of the Skip Holtz era when












UH utilizes a multiple offensive attack while employing a 4-3 defensive alignment. ECU

will also line up in a multiple offense and use a multiple look when defending.













while overall, he is in his 10th year as a collegiate head coach with a 71-49 (.592)

record. When he became ECU’s 19th all-time head football coach Dec. 3, 2004, Holtz

officially finished a six-year stint on the South Carolina staff.

Prior to leading the Pirates to four-straight bowl appearances and earning

Conference USA Coach-of-the-Year honors in 2008, Holtz helped guide the Gamecocks

to back-to-back Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State (2001-2002). From 1994 to

1998, Holtz steered the Connecticut program to unprecedented success as its head

coach and layed the foundation for the school’s move to the Division I-A (FBS) level.

UConn was a consistent member of the I-AA (FCS) Top 25 polls during his last four

seasons, which included a school-record 10-win, playoff campaign in 1998. Prior to his

success at Connecticut, Holtz spent four seasons at alma mater Notre Dame and served

as the Fighting Irish’s offensive coordinator in 1992 and 1993 – a period which resulted

in a 21-2-1 record and top-10 national rankings in total offense and scoring offense.

(Notre Dame ‘86) is 37-26 (.587) in his fifth season at East Carolina,







the University of Houston and sports an 18-7 (.720) record. Prior to his arrival in

Houston in Dec., 2007, Sumlin spent five years on the Oklahoma staff, where he served

as both the co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach (2006-07) and special teams

coordinator/tight ends coach (2003-05).

(Purdue ‘88) is in his second season heading the football program at Houston.