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Cougars' Sumlin learns about Mother Nature

By John Rohde Modified: September 2, 2008 at 7:09 am •  Published: September 2, 2008
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In 1964, football coach Bill Yeoman introduced the veer offense at the University of Houston. In preparation for Saturday night's game at Oklahoma State, the Cougars were ready to implement a real-life version of the veer defense.

Had Hurricane Gustav veered more toward Houston, the Till football team would have headed north several days earlier than planned.

The Cougars are headed this direction to face the Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium, but those plans were ready to be expedited late Sunday and early Monday.

Being a rookie head coach is challenging enough. Houston rookie Kevin Sumlin managed to avert the eye of a hurricane, a challenge several Gulf and Atlantic coast coaches seem to be facing more frequently.

Sumlin said hurricane contingency plans at UH were discussed in the summer.

“There are a lot of things that go into something like this, and it can’t be done in a half-day,” Sumlin said. “That’s why you have a plan in place. Moving 200 people or so, and getting them fed and everything, is a major chore.”

Had Gustav taken a more westerly path, Sumlin said his team would have loaded into buses and relocated to Dallas, or they would have traveled all the way to Oklahoma City and practiced here all week.

As of Monday afternoon, because the storm posed no immediately threat to Houston, the Cougars will remain on their campus all week to prepare for OSU.

Born and raised in Indiana, hurricanes are new to Sumlin, a former assistant at Oklahoma for five seasons (2003-07) before taking over the Cougars.

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