It's Thursday! And that means that it's time for our weekly Stat Match-Up analysis. Both MSU and UH, will be looking for their 4th win of the 2010 season-this weekend. The Cougars (3-1), however, have some statistics on their side for this non-conference series. Houston is currently riding an 18 game winning streak within the confines of their Robertson Stadium. And, UH holds a 4-3 record vs MSU at home. Before we get into our stats breakdown, let's take a look at some more of the history between MSU and UH.

  • The 2 schools first met in 1956, UH won 18-7.
  • Last season, UH won 31-24
  • UH leads all time series with MSU 9-6 (60%).
  • UH, as mentioned previously, holds a 4-3 edge over MSU at home.
  • Average score in the series: UH 23 MSU 15

With that said, here's how the 2 stack up against each other, and the rest of the nation:

Total Off. 392 ypg (53rd) 465 ypg (19th)
Rush Off. 172 ypg(48th) 185 ypg (37th)
Pass Off. 220 ypg (65th) 280 ypg (22nd)
Scoring Off. 28 ppg (57th) 44 ppg (6th)
Total Def. 313 ypg (32nd) 370 ypg (72nd)
Rush Def. 126 ypg (39th) 162 ypg(78th)
Pass Def. 186 ypg (44th) 207 ypg (63rd)
Scoring Def. 16 ppg (22nd) 26 ppg (78th)

-Cougar RB Bryce Beall is ranked 25th in the nation in rushing (104 ypg), and tied for 2nd in scoring (13.5 ppg). MSU's RB Vick Ballard is tied for 12th in scoring (10.8 ppg). When looking at the stats, you can't help but consider who MSU and UH have played thus far. State has faced the likes of Auburn, LSU, and UGA, while UH has UCLA, UTEP, and Tulane on their resume'. Even though some of these opponents can refute the strength of a certain team's schedule, the average college football fan would have to say that MSU has played the tougher stretch. It will also be interesting to see how UH's offensive stats survive Keenum's absence, considering that their rankings have dropped out of the top 10 already.

Dan Mullen on the UH Cougars: "We’re going to have to play real well. They’re a very explosive offense that we’re playing this week. But I think our team has had a pretty solid week of practice so far. We’re getting some guys healthy that have been banged up a little bit." On last year's loss: "We just didn’t play a complete football game, and had plenty of opportunities to win.”

UH's Kevin Sumlin on the Bulldogs: "Mississippi State provides us with a chance to step out of our league and play an SEC team. With that comes some big fast guys. It starts with their head coach Dan Mullen, who I have a tremendous respect for. A really good coach. A guy who has been successful, knows how to build programs." On MSU's D:"They are a big, fast and talented defense. You look at their linebacker core and they are all seniors. They are probably the strength of their football team right now. (Chris) White and (K.J.) Wright are excellent college players, obviously pro prospects. They have big, strong and fast guys, 6-4, 240-pound and 250-pound guys that can do a lot of damage. They are an SEC, big, physical football team. They have an added dimension this year. That is their defense. I have tremendous respect for Manny Diaz." On Relf and the MSU Offense: "Ideally and conceptually I think they want to do the same thing. They just weren't able to execute it the way they wanted to. Chris gives them a one-two punch at quarterback now. He's an excellent player and an excellent athlete. I bet he's chomping at the bit to play this game after watching last years' video. Schematically, they're the same football team. He adds something that they didn't have last year." On his QB issues, with Keenum and Cotton out for the year: "We're going to do the same thing we've been doing. We just have to make sure to execute well and make it easier for them. We just have to slow the game down and protect them and we should be fine. We worked on getting the same rhythm down as we had when Case and Cotton were here. They gained a lot of confidence and we've gained a lot of confidence in them. They've both showed a tremendous improvement in the last two weeks. It's hard because neither of them had the chance to throw a lot of reps or go to fall camp like the rest of us, but they've had two weeks to get better." If Case Keenum wasn't out for the year, I'd definitely consider UH the toughestOffensive opponent that MSU would face in the first half ofthe season. But, with Keenum's absence, I have to give that title to Auburn. There's no doubt that losing the dark horse Heisman candidate, takes some of the bite and explosiveness out of the Cougars' Offense. But, even with UH's 3rd and 4th string QBs, State cannot take this game for granted. Houston is one man down in their skill department-due to Cleveland's suspension, but have PLENTY of play makers left.*Forgotten something about last year's game? QB Chris Relf was suspended, but MSU still ran for 330 yards, on 51 carries.
Remember to save your predictions for tomorrow, when I will also post my Keys to Victory, and let you in on what the experts are saying.
 Anything stick out to yall in the stats' column?
Who will play a bigger role, the RBs or the QBs in this one?
2 really good Offensive minds going at it this weekend, in Sumlin and Mullen.
*Great game on tonight, Nebraska vs K-State