‘Tis The Season For The Cougars and Owls

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: December 10, 2008

HOUSTON — The Houston Cougar and Rice Owl football teams will be going bowling this month as both Conference USA opponents have been selected to play in a college bowl game.

The Cougars will head to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas with a rematch with the Air Force Falcons. The game will be played on Wednesday, December 31st at Amon G. Carter Stadium on the Texas Christian University campus. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

This will be the second time Houston has played a post season game in Fort Worth. The Cougars defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 42-13 back in 2005.

The Rice Owls who chose to stay at home and play in the Texas Bowl were hoping to play Notre Dame; however, they will face Western Michigan instead. The Fighting Irish decided to go to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl instead.

Both teams are looking forward to finishing their season with a win.

14 players from both schools were named to the Phil Steele’s All C-USA First Team. Five Rice Owls, including four members of Rice’s record-setting offensive attack, were named to the first team.

Senior quarterback Chase Clement, senior wide receiver Jarett Dillard, senior offensive guard David Berken and sophomore James Casey were named as first-team selections on offense, while Junior free saftety Andrew Sendejo was named to the defensive squad. In addition, Scott Solomon and Chris Ptaszek were named to the defensive third team.

Houston seniors Mark Hafner and defensive end Phillip Hunt headline a group of nine Cougars who were named to various All C-USA teams. Hafner, a senior tight end and Hunt were both named to the first-team.

Hafner, who is one of the top tight ends in the country leads the Cougars in receptions (85) and touchdown receptions (11). Hunt is the team and league leader in sacks with 12.

Sophomore quarterback Case Keenum , freshman running back Bryce Beall, wide receiver Tyron Carrier and senior offensive guard Michael Bloesch were named to the second-team.

Rounding out the all-conference awards are senior offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, junior cornerback Brandon Brinkley and senior linebacker Cody Lubojasky, who were all named to the third team.

Both Houston and Rice had two players each named to the C-USA All Academic Team. Cougars senior defensive tackle Jake Ebner and quarterback Case Keenum were named to the 2008 Conference USA Football All-Academic Team. Rice’s James Casey and Andrew Sendejo were named to the team also.