Houston midseason review

October, 20, 2009
10/20/09
1:50
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

HOUSTON COUGARS (5-1, 1-1 C-USA)

Houston has been the surprise team to challenge for a possible BCS berth this season. After toppling No. 5 Oklahoma State, the Cougars jumped into the polls and two weeks later validated their spot with a win over Texas Tech. The Cougars earned their first ranking since 1991, but it didn’t last very long after suffering an upset at the hands of UTEP. But the Cougars have climbed back into the polls and have sustained their spot because of a dynamic offense that leads the nation, averaging 560.33 total yards per game. The Cougars probably won’t be BCS bowl bound this season, but they should have a great chance to win their conference.

Offensive MVP

Case Keenum, QB: Keenum has led his team on game-winning drives against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and has put up all sorts of ridiculous numbers in the process. Keenum leads the country in total offense with 429.50 yards per game and in passing. He’s thrown for 2,501 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 70 percent of his passes.

Defensive MVP

Marcus McGraw, LB: Although he’s just a sophomore, McGraw has been the anchor of a young defense that is often overshadowed by the team’s potent offense. The defense hasn’t been great this season, but McGraw stands out with 70 tackles, which ranks third in the nation and first in Conference USA. He also has one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.

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