The Houston now stand just eight days away from the start of their 2012 football season opener with the Texas State Bobcats. There has been a ton of changes on Cullen Blvd. since the Cougars last took the field including a coaching staff turnover that brought new faces in to mix with some of the holdovers.
One thing that will not change with the Cougars is their effort to speed the tempo of the game up to a point the opposing defenses just plain and simply cannot keep up. First year Cougars offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt says that the tempo that Cougar fans have come to know and love over the last few years will be what they strive to get to.
"I think right now at this point it all about the tempo of play, it still comes back to that," says Nesbitt of what he would like to continue to improve on over the next week. "It's just us, the schemes are in and what we are going to run the whole thing is in place. There might be an addition here or there of a play but really it is just on us to eliminate the little things. I think our ball security right now is still not that good, I don't think we are taking care of the ball very well right now."
"I'm not real sure that our tempo of play is where we want it right now either," Nesbitt added. "I think we can play a lot faster, I really do. I think part of it just practice reps, just doing it every day and seeing how quick we can do it. If we ask are we getting the ball snapped every 25 seconds, I think we are close but I would like it to be faster."
One of the key differences that Nesbitt agrees might be keeping this year's offense from reaching the tempo of last season's is just the game experience of those running it.
"No doubt," he said of the importance of repetition in getting faster. " I think it will happen and get to that point a lot of the guys are still stopping and looking and picking up the signal and then they are ready to get lined up. Until it gets to a little hand signal or a key word for them it will be a little slower. If you watched Case (Keenum) and you watched him for six seasons there was probably a lot of times that he was giving a play and it looked like he was just fixing his jersey and it was so quick but Patrick (Edwards) and those guys just knew. Sometimes once you build that chemistry it is just a look or something as simple as that that tells them where to go and that is going to come for these guys once they all get comfortable with each other out there."
Nesbitt has also been happy with the influx of young talent into the team this fall and sees big things in store for them due to their work ethic.
"What I like about our freshmen right now is that they are not your typical freshmen," he said. "They are coming in on their own, they are grabbing video, they are talking with their coaches and I like that. It shows a little character on their part, we don't have to threaten them to make them come in extra they are just doing what they need to do. Over time I think that will carry over into them being very good players."
The Cougars and Bobcats will square off September 1 at Robertson Stadium where Nesbitt and the staff will fully turnover the reigns of the offense to their team. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM.