'Quick Six' takes the long road.Byline: Curtis Anderson The Register-Guard
Two years ago, Anthony Alridge Anthony Alridge (born November 24, 1983 in Denton, Texas) is an American football player for the University of Houston football team. Personal Life
Alridge was born to Vincent and Lisa Alridge in Denton, Texas, where he grew up. , an all-purpose back who goes by the nickname of `Quick Six,' made his first career start for the Houston football team in its season opener against Oregon.
By the end of the first quarter, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Alridge already had added his first career catch, and his first career touchdown, a 62-yard reception that gave the Cougars a shortlived 21-14 lead.
So why not launch his campaign to be the nation's leader in all-purpose yards this season in Saturday's rematch with the Ducks?
`I look forward to playing Oregon again,' said Alridge, a senior, who set a school record and led all Division 1-A rushers with an average of 10.1 yards per carry last year with 959 yards in 95 attempts.
`I remember I was just playing (in that first game). I didn't know what was going on because I didn't know how to read coverages. But now, I'm a lot more experienced and I know what the defense is doing.'
Alridge lined up as a wideout in that first meeting with the Ducks.
However, he made a seamless transition to running back midway through last season, a move that gave the Cougars (10-4 overall, 7-1 league) a much-needed offensive boost as they closed out the season with six consecutive wins, locked up the Conference USA Conference USA, officially abbreviated C-USA, is a college athletic conference whose member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I in all sports. title, and a berth in the Liberty Bowl.
Alridge, one of 35 players named to the `watch list' for the 2007 Walter Camp Walter Chauncey Camp (April 7, 1859 – March 14, 1925) was a sports writer and football coach known as the "Father of American Football". Along with John Heisman, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Glenn Scobey Warner, and George Halas, Camp was one of the most significant people in the player of the year award Several sports leagues honor their best player with an award called Player of the Year. In the United States, this type of award is usually called a Most Valuable Player award. The awards with the "player of the year" phrasing include these. , had no problems making the switch. He was a star running back in high school in Denton, Texas Denton is a city in the United States and the county seat of Denton County, Texas. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 80,537, making it the eleventh largest city in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. .
`When Anthony came up here, we had a full stable of running backs, so we put him at wide receiver because it was the quickest way to get him on the field,' Houston head coach Art Briles Art Briles (born December 3, 1955) is an American football coach, who is currently the head coach at the University of Houston. High school coaching career
After graduating from Texas Tech University in 1979, Briles began his coaching career as an assistant at Sundown said.
`He ended up being a really good receiver, but we went through a mini-slump last year, and we needed a spark, and we knew Anthony would be a good running back. It turned out to be a good move for him and us.'
Alridge, the Cougars' No. 1 kickoff returner In American and Canadian football, a kick returner (KR) is the player on special teams who is primarily responsible to catch kickoffs and attempts to return them in the opposite direction. , made the most of his touches.
Besides the eye-popping stat of more than 10 yards per carry, he averaged 103.9 yards rushing over the final seven games of the season, finishing the year as the team leader with 131.1 all-purpose yards per game.
His highlight reel featured a career-high 225 yards on 13 attempts against SMU SMU Southern Methodist University
SMU Solid (Waste) Management Unit
SMU Saint Mary's University (Halifax, Nova Scotia; Philippines)
SMU Singapore Management University
SMU Saint Mary's University of Minnesota , twice breaking loose for 77-yard touchdown runs, and an 87-yard TD scamper against Tulane, the third-longest run from scrimmage in school history.
Alridge, a second-team all-Conference USA pick in 2006, is ticketed for full-time duty at running back and kickoff returns this season, plus occasional stints at wideout. With his carries projected to double in Houston's wide-open spread attack, he sees no reason why he can't contend for the nation's all-purpose yardage yard·age 1
1. An amount or length measured in yards.
2. Cloth sold by the yard.
Noun 1. title.
`That's my goal,' Alridge said. `I love the ball in my hands and I want to lead the nation in all-purpose yards. I want at least 2,700 yards, if not more. Coach told me he had 2,500 yards in his mind, so I always want to up the ante.'
The burning question for Houston is who will be the quarterback?
Four-year starter Kevin Kolb Kevin Benjamin Kolb (born August 24, 1984 in Victoria, Texas) is an American football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He attended the University of Houston. High school career has moved on to the NFL NFL
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga as the Philadelphia Eagles' second-round draft pick after setting every school passing and total offense record during his tenure at Houston.
Alridge has confidence in both of the candidates to replace Kolb - sophomore Blake Joseph and redshirt freshman Case Keenum.
`I'm very comfortable with both of them,' he said. `With our quick-strike offense, whoever the quarterback is going to be, they should have a lot of fun ... they just have to put the ball in the right hands, try not to make too many mistakes and manage the game.'
Houston has made a remarkable turnaround under Briles.
The Cougars were winless (0-11) as recently as 2001, and dating back to 1976, only five other teams in Division I-A history have been able to rebound from zero wins to a league championship.
UO head coach Mike Bellotti Robert Michael Bellotti (b. December 21, 1950 in Sacramento, California) has been the head coach of the University of Oregon football team since 1995. His accomplishments at Oregon include an 11-1 season and #2 national ranking in 2001. Education
M.S. is well aware of Houston's multiple offensive threats.
`(Alridge) is a great running back,' Bellotti said. `He can catch and run the ball with power and quickness. He reads plays well and hits the hole well. Their offense is so deceptive, you never know when he's going to carry the ball ... as an offensive coach, it's fun to watch, but not much fun as a defensive coach.'