Houston vs. SMU: Mustang rushing attack a concern for Houston

Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

SMU back Zach Line 'one of the best,' Tony Levine says

The Houston Cougars visit the SMU Mustangs on Thursday night. The Mustang ground game must be contained for Houston to stay undefeated in Conference USA: SMU tailback Zach Line is a two-time conference rushing leader and has already gone for 100 yards three times in 2012.

Houston coach Tony Levine was very complimentary of Line on Wednesday in his pregame comments:

"He's as pretty of a running back as I've seen in a long time - all 6-1 and 230 pounds of muscle...He's big and powerful. He's elusive for his size. We've got to swarm the football. One guy can't bring him down."

SMU (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) took its first conference loss at Tulane last Saturday, 27-26. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert, a Texas transfer, has been far from exceptional. Gilbert has thrown 11 interceptions and owns a 49.5 percent completion rate.

Houston (3-3, 3-0) has won three straight in C-USA play and needs another win to keep pace with Tulsa, which owns four conference wins and hosts Rice on Saturday. The Cougars' Charles Sims leads C-USA in rushing this year with 648 yards, ahead of only Line, who has gone for 604.

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