Houston, TX (CSTV U-WIRE) -- There is a first and last time for everything in life, and as UH senior quarterback Kevin Kolb participates in the final spring practice session of his collegiate career, he is focused on bringing the Cougars their first Conference USA championship in football under his command.
A few years ago, Kolb became the first true freshman to start the season opener in school history. The Stephenville native now enters his fourth year at the starting helm for the Cougars, who finished sixth in the conference standings in 2005 with a 6-6 record.
Following the regular season, UH was invited to play in the Fort Worth Bowl against the Kansas Jayhawks, who defeated the Cougars in a 42-13 routing. Along with his teammates, Kolb has used the loss to motivate himself this spring, despite the apparent success of the 2005 season.
"Mediocrity seems to be a successful season in some people's eyes, (but) in our eyes, that's not how it is," Kolb said. "(To go) 6-6 and lose in a bowl game by that margin, that is not a winning season to us."
Kolb was named to the All Conference Third Team for the second time last year for his career after throwing for 3,044 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 62.2 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 192 yards and four touchdowns as the Cougar offense finished the season ranked first in C-USA.
Statistically, Kolb has had one of the most prolific careers of any quarterback in UH history. However, he feels that there is room for improvement.
"The team has to have confidence in me," Kolb said. "Everybody out there needs to know that whenever the ball is in my hands that I'm going to make a good play with it and be smart with it. I threw a couple of picks last year (18 interceptions), so I need to take care of the ball a little better and use my feet as an asset."
If Kolb puts up stats similar to last year's, the Cougars should be in a good position to win games in 2006 and compete for a conference championship- two things that are of great importance to Kolb.
"I want to be (known as) a legend around here, and the only way that you become a legend is if you get more victories," said Kolb, who has started 35 straight games for UH. "Besides the numbers and touchdowns, victories are the number-one key.
"We will compete for a conference championship; we competed for it last year. We are right neck and neck with everybody. There is no doubt that the talent level is there, so there is no doubt in my mind that we are going to compete for it."
Overall, Kolb has been pleased with the Cougars performance during spring drills and says that he has not thought much about the last few spring practices of his career. For Kolb, it's hard to believe that this is his last go-round.
"It's crazy. I think that the day that it ends and the next team starts up and I'm not suiting up in the Red-White (annual scrimmage), then it will hit me," Kolb said. "But right now you have to tell yourself something everyday so that you can make it count, but it's not the first thing on my mind."
(C) 2006 The Daily Cougar via CSTV U-WIRE