STILLWATER — Houston is promoting quarterback Kevin Kolb for the Heisman Trophy.
They know his chances are slim because he plays for a low-profile program in Conference USA, but his skills, according to Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, are on par.
"His stats are comparable to Brady Quinn at Notre Dame," said Bedford, who is trying to devise a game plan to stymie the Cougars' high-powered passing attack. "He's a big quarterback, with a good arm, very mobile, very accurate. If you put this kid at Notre Dame, he'd be doing the same things that Brady Quinn has been doing for Notre Dame."
Kolb is the NCAA's active leader in career passing yards, completions and total offense.
He will be a big test for OSU's new-look secondary.
Junior cornerback Martel Van Zant started the final four games last season. Junior Donovan Woods started five games at free safety after switching from quarterback to defense in mid-season. Sophomore Jacob Lacey made one career start last year. Andre Sexton is a redshirt freshman who sat out last season with a broken forearm. True freshman Perrish Cox was playing high school football in Waco, Texas.
"We're better in the secondary but (Kolb) has been in that system for six years," said assistant head coach Joe DeForest.
"It's a big challenge. The big thing is to tackle in space. They throw it, catch it and try to make you miss."
A starter since the day he stepped on campus, Kolb has made 39 career starts, thrown for 10,035 yards and tossed 63 touchdowns passes compared to 28 interceptions.
"When you play a quarterback who has a chance to play in the NFL, you're in for a real challenge," said OSU coach Mike Gundy. "He can throw it. He understands the game.