The Houston Cougars will try to end their stay in Conference USA as champions, beginning with a season kickoff against Texas State on Saturday.
Houston last season, behind NCAA career passing record-holder Case Keenum, ripped through its schedule only to stumble and lose to Southern Mississippi, 49-28, in the Conference USA Championship game. It did, however, rebound to defeat Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl, 30-14, in then-interim head coach Tony Levine's debut on the sidelines.
With Keenum gone, sophomore quarterback David Piland -- who played in Keenum's absence in 2010, reports Joseph Duarte of The Houston Chronicle -- will take the reigns of Houston's high-powered offense that will try to follow-up on a year in which it led the nation in passing yards per game (450.1) and points per game (49.3).
This will be the last chance for the Cougars to seek a Conference USA title, as the program will join the Big East Conference beginning in 2013.
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