With the Houston Cougars still searching for their first win of the season, a visit to UCLA and the nation's leading rusher Johnathan Franklin looks to be another stiff challenge for a struggling Cougar defense, writes Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle.
Houston, reeling from back-to-back losses to Texas State and Louisiana Tech, has seen opponent's running attacks gash them for big yards early on. Texas State's Marcus Curry scampered for 131 yards on only 14 carries, a 9.4 average per rush, and two touchdowns in the Cougars' season-opening 30-13 loss to the Bobcats.
Things didn't get better for Houston against the Bulldogs, as running back Tevin King gouged the Cougar defense for 112 yards on 13 carries (another alarmingly-high average of 8.6 yards per carry) and three touchdowns on the ground. Additionally, freshman rusher Kenneth Dixon racked up 90 yards on 18 rushes and a touchdown for Louisiana Tech as the Bulldogs went on to defeat the Cougars, 56-49.
Franklin has led the No. 22 Bruins to a 2-0 start with wins over Rice and Nebraska, tallying a nation's best 214 and 217 yards in those games, respectively, scoring three rushing touchdowns against the Owls and adding a receiving score against the Cornhuskers on Sept. 8.