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MSU looks to rebound in Houston

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Sept. 19, 2003
STARKVILLE Mississippi State University had its 10-game winning streak against Conference USA foes snapped last week by the Tulane Green Wave at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Bulldogs (0-2, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) let a 14-point lead entering the fourth quarter fall to the wayside, as the Green Wave (2-1, 0-1 C-USA) emerged with a 31-28 victory.
MSU will look to get back on track against C-USA opponents, over which the Bulldogs hold an all-time record of 78-59-3, when the team travels to play the University of Houston Cougars (2-1, 0-0 C-USA) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Bulldogs will also be trying to avoid the program's first 0-3 start to a season since 1978.
MSU's trip to Houston will be the first time the team has played at UH since 1969. The last meeting in the Lone Star state between the two squads resulted in the Bulldogs' worst loss in program history.
The Cougars pummeled the
Bulldogs 74-0 in the Harris County Domed Stadium, also known as the AstroDome.
UH also probably has more formations on offense than any team MSU will see this year.
The Cougars have amassed 330.3 yards per game, and the team is averaging 24 points per game.
They will make you be very smart and prepared," Sherrill said. "They try to line up and make you think they don't run the football, but they will. They even spread guys on their punt teams. The biggest thing is to get your defensive players in the right sets and formations to make plays."
MSU will have some help against the various offensive formations that is thrown at the defense on Saturday.
Safety Kevin Dockery, who missed the Tulane game with an ankle injury, could be back in the starting lineup.
Also, defensive lineman Kamau Jackson will play his first game after serving a two-game NCAA suspension.
Defensively, UH has surrendered 324.7 yards per game, and the unit is giving up an average of 26 points.
The Cougars' high numbers on defense are somewhat misleading, considering the team's second game of the year was against powerhouse Michigan on the road. UH lost the game 50-3.
UH picked up a 21-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette last week, and Sherrill said he knows his team is in for a challenge against the Cougars.
There are two or three things you understand about playing Houston,'' Sherrill said. Number one is they've always had speed and always have very athletic players, which show up on film."