More than a month has elapsed since the Bulls' last offensive touchdown, in the fourth quarter of the Sept. 28 loss to Miami. By contrast, Houston (6-1, 3-0) is the only Division I-A program to score in every quarter it has played (28) this season. Backtracking to 2012, the Cougars have scored in 35 consecutive quarters. The Bulls, 6-0 all-time indoors, hope to extend that streak inside Reliant Stadium. On the flip side, they're 0-9 on ESPN-televised Thursday night games. USF started four freshmen in Saturday's 34-3 loss to Louisville, and played a season-high nine in the game. The number of starters should increase, when 6-foot-5 freshman QB Mike White gets his inaugural start. Houston leads the nation with a plus-20 turnover margin. The Cougars have outscored their opposition, 144-46, in the second half this season.
Watch out for …
Bulls rushing leader Marcus Shaw, absent since injuring a hamstring in the first half of the Cincinnati game nearly four weeks ago, is expected to return. Houston's John O'Korn, among five freshman quarterbacks to start for an American Athletic Conference team this year, leads all true freshmen nationally with 19 passing TDs and a 159.0 efficiency rating. Seeking any measure to jump-start his offense, Bulls coach Willie Taggart has said he may use a defensive player both ways. Houston WR Deontay Greenberry has four games this year with at least 146 receiving yards.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer