Jan 4, 2014; Birmingham, AL, USA; Houston Cougars defensive back Adrian McDonald (16) intercepts a pass from Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Patton Robinette (4) (not shown) during the 2014 Compass Bowl at Legion Field. The Commodores defeated the Cougars 41-24. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Cougars Football Begins Spring Practice With Optimism


Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

While old man winter was busy making his presence felt in the Houston area on Monday, the University of Houston Cougars football team was busy kicking off spring practice. The Coogs opened up “spring” football with a two hour practice session in near freezing temperatures. They envision this as the first step to what will be a big 2014 for the U of H football program.

Coming of an 8-5 finish and a BBVA Compass Bowl appearance in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference, the Coogs have their sights set on competing for the conference championship this season. Excitement will abound when they kick off the season in the brand new, on campus Houston Football Stadium in August.

That excitement will be well warranted, as Houston returns 45 lettermen, including 28 who started at some point in 2013. Among those returnees are the team leaders in every major statistical category aside from punting and kicking. On paper, they are very good, and they will use this spring session to continue to translate that immense promise to the field in 2014.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The Coogs will have 15 practice sessions over the next month or so, culminating in the red and white spring game Friday April 11 at Carl Lewis Field on campus. They will practice again this week (today), and will have the next week off during spring break before returning for three more weeks of practices.

Six of those sessions, including the spring game, will be open to the public. The first practice open to the fans will be on Friday March 21, and that will be followed by an open scrimmage on Saturday March 22. Three more open practices will be held the following week, on Wednesday March 26, Friday March 28, and Saturday March 29.

The weekday practices will be held from 4:30 to 6:30, while the two Saturday sessions will run from 2:00 to 3:30. The April spring game will be the final chance for fans to see the team up close and personal until the season kicks off in the fall.

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Tags: University Of Houston