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.