We start in Miami, where Florida International is licking its wounds after losing 34-13 to FCS member Bethune-Cookman. This is the same Bethune-Cookman team that is a 40-point underdog to Florida State. The Panthers enter their game versus Louisville at 0-3 and 43-point underdogs to the Cardinals. FIU Coach Ron Turner said he hasn’t changed his approach to keeping his team’s spirits up.
Same one that we took day one when I got here. The same one we are taking every day and that’s to focus on ourselves. Focus on ourselves to get better and just keep working and doing the right things. Accountability, toughness and discipline.
On the flip side of that coin, Rice notched just C-USA’s third win this season over a team from a BCS automatic qualifier conference in beating Kansas last week. The other two were Middle Tennessee’s win over Memphis and FAU’s win over South Florida.
The Owls have a very intriguing game this weekend versus Houston, a battle for the city’s attention against an American Athletic Conference team who jumped from C-USA for whatever perceived benefits there were. Considering most Texas high schools outdraw a normal Rice home game, this could be big for the Owls in their opportunity to show off a pretty good football team. Coach David Bailiff understands what this game could mean.
Houston is 2-0 and we need to get the city of Houston out to this game. It’s at Reliant Stadium with a really solid Houston team and a really solid Rice team. The Texans are in Baltimore and there’s not a reason in the world not to get everyone out to this game. This game is good for the city of Houston. The Bayou Bucket is one of the ugliest trophies you’re ever going to see, but those kids want it in our locker room.
Speaking of bayous, Louisiana Tech’s offense seems like it’s stuck in one. The Bulldogs are 101st in average passing yards (169.7 per game) and 105th in scoring (18.7 points per game). They’re just one season removed from averaging 350.8 passing yards and an FBS-best 51.5 points per game. While bad offenses seem to follow LTU Coach Skip Holtz around — that was one of the factors that expedited his exit from South Florida — he’s put his finger on some of the culprits this season.
We are not getting the productivity out of our offensive line and quarterbacks like we need to get. We have to get better in those two areas. I think we have way too much pressure on the quarterback and when we do
not have pressure, we are not able to give our wide receivers an opportunity to catch the ball. I do not think we threw the ball very accurately. I think we have to get much more productive at those two positions.
The Bulldogs were grounded by Tulane, whose 24-15 win over LTU gave the Green Wave just its second 2-1 start since 2006. Tulane has Syracuse this week, but it might not have Groza Award-winning kicker Cairo Santos, who was back in Brazil at his father’s funeral. Santos’ father, a stunt pilot, died in a plane crash. If Santos isn’t able to kick against the Orange, Steven Broccoli steps in.
He’ll kick the long ones and he’ll kick the field goals. That’s the way we practiced (Tuesday). I thought he was good. He was perfect in practice (Tuesday). He did well. You just have to think of some fourth-down stuff that you’ve got to prepare for, depending on where you are. That puts a little more pressure on Peter (Picerelli) that those punts, when we get in, we don’t want them in the end zone. It’s just got to be high and kick them out of bounds.