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November 19, 2013

Still Plenty To Play For

For the Houston Cougars they are all but mathematically eliminated from the race for the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship after dropping two hard fought road games in a row to Central Florida and Louisville. They dropped the past two conference games by a combined 12 points and in both had possessions late that could have given them go-ahead scores.

For the Cougars, now sitting at 7-3 on the season, including 4-2 in conference play, there are still many things to play for including the Something To Prove motto the team has proudly displayed all season.

"We've still got a lot to prove," said head coach Tony Levine Sunday evening. "That has been our team slogan all season but it is something that I have talked about being over our whole body of work, not just over one game at a time individually. It is not like we have proven something seven times and not proven anything three times. Our overall record right now is 7-3 and in 13 days we are either going to be 7-5, 8-4 or 9-3 with an opportunity to play in a bowl game and to get an additional win to our overall record. Having said all of that our focus is obviously on Cincinnati coming in this week."

One thing the Cougars will have to improve on is their offensive output, which has struggled the last two games, only putting up 367 and 195 total offensive yards respectively in the UCF and Louisville losses.

"I would like to be standing here talking about how beating Louisville or beating Central Florida in a close game is what is going to make us better in the long run," said Levine. "Our defense the last two week has given us the opportunity to be in that position at the end of the game offensively. I'm not sure that it is coincidence but there is something to be said that our last two opponents have been highly ranked defenses. With that being said, with what we do offensively we always look in the mirror first and foremost. We talked in meetings with our staff and with our student athletes about how offensively 11 guys need to do their job on each play to be successful. If 10 guys do it right, chances are it is going to be a negative play and when you combine that with going against a defense like Louisville or Central Florida it doesn't help."

For the Cougars, their schedule does not get any lighter as they face yet another conference front runner in Cincinnati this week that comes into the Bayou City at 8-2, 5-1 in conference, riding a five game winning streak and quite possibly playing as good as they have all season.

Kick-off is scheduled for 11:00 AM Saturday from BBVA Compass Stadium with the game set to be aired on ESPN News.

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