The UH/AAC Report

Ed Oliver says farewell to Houston, coaching extensions, and an early look at UH bowl opponent Army

Ed Oliver skips bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. Houston Cougar Football Facebook

The regular season is over for Houston football, but a lot has occurred since last week. Let’s take a look at what to expect for UH:

The Armed Forces Bowl

Houston (8-4, 5-3 in AAC) will face Army (9-2) at Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 22. The Black Knights are ranked No. 22 in the Top 25 AP Poll, mostly due to their prolific triple option rushing attack which ranks third in the nation. They are on a seven game winning streak since losing to Oklahoma. The Big 12 Conference Champion struggled at home against Army, but would later win in overtime. Army averages 300 yards per game on the ground this year, making them the third team (Navy, Memphis, Army) that Houston will face that is ranked within the top five in rushing. The matchup is not good for a depleted Houston defense. The Black Knights will play Navy this weekend, a conference foe of the Cougars who has had a terrible season. Army vs Navy will be the only college football game this weekend, where you can get a sneak peak of what to expect if you haven’t seen the Black Knights play all season. Plus, the uniforms for this game are always pretty cool.

King vs Milton

Houston comes into this bowl game with their heads hung low after what most consider to be a disappointing season. Injuries, most notably those to D’Eriq King and Ed Oliver, sidetracked the Cougars from heading into the AAC Championship game after Memphis blew them out in Week 13. King and UCF QB McKenzie Milton were both nominated for AAC Offensive Player of the Year, of which Milton took home for a second straight season. Milton humbly gave King an honorable mention by saying, “Shout out to D’Eriq King who is just as, if not, more deserving of this honor. Promise we’ll both be back better than ever!” King played only 11 games, where he reached 50 total touchdowns, 14 of which came from the ground, threw for 2,982 passing yards, and rushed for 674 yards.

Ed Oliver Denies Bowl Game

The All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver decided to sit out his final bowl game to begin preparing for the NFL draft. He announced his decision via twitter where he thanked the University of Houston, the coaching staff, and his teammates. He finished by saying, “To all the fans, thank you for your relentless support. Forever I will be a Coog!” Oliver’s decision came about a week after he publicly announced that he will be playing in whatever bowl UH was assigned, even after he had to be benched for tweaking his knee in Week 13 vs Memphis. He missed four games this season after suffering from an uncalled chop block against Navy. In his three years in Houston, Oliver accounted for 193 total total tackles, 54 of which were tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 14 passes defended, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one blocked kick. He was the first underclassmen to win the Outland Trophy in 2017, which is awarded to the best college interior lineman. This season, Oliver won AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Coaching Changes/Extensions

Houston still doesn’t have a defensive coordinator. Mark D’Onofrio was fired after the Memphis game for managing one of the worst defenses in college football, and also one of the worst defenses in the history of the program. The UH defense allowed a total of 412 points, being the fifth most allowed points in a season in school history, while also allowing 5,862 total yards. It seems like Houston is in no rush in finding a replacement.

Kendal Briles accepted a contract extension from UH after interviewing with Texas State for the head coaching job vacancy. He was also widely considered for a SEC offensive coordinator position of which was not disclosed by sources. The new three-year deal is worth $2.1 million, making Briles one of the highest paid assistants in the nation. Offensive line coach Randy Clements also enjoyed a new three-year extension. Consider both a package deal. The Houston offense averaged 46.4 points per game, rushed for 2991 yards, and passed for 3611 yards, making it one of the best offenses in the nation.

AAC Bowl Matchups

Armed Forces Bowl- Houston vs Army

Military Bowl- Cincinnati vs Virginia Tech

Gasparilla Bowl- USF vs Marshall

Birmingham Bowl- Memphis vs Wake Forest

Independence Bowl- Temple vs Duke

Cure Bowl- Tulane vs Louisiana Lafayette

Most Notable AAC Bowl Matchup

Fiesta Bowl- UCF vs LSU

Here's a look at what happened in the Lone Star State and with LSU

Saturday NCAA Football Recap: Tough losses plague Texas teams in Week 12; LSU remains undefeated

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Memphis 45, Houston 27

Houston quarterback Clayton Tune burst up the middle for a 68-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. That was the most memorable offensive play of the game for the Cougars. Memphis quarterback Brady White threw for 341 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another score and No. 18 Memphis overcame a 10-point first-quarter deficit to beat the pants off Houston 45-27 on Saturday. Tune was 14-of-22 for 157 yards with one touchdown for the Cougars. "I think we ran out of gas with four minutes to go in the second quarter," Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said. Houston started off strong but was held to just 113 yards of total offense in the final three quarters. The Cougars got into the red zone and settled for field goals twice. Memphis finished with nine tackles for loss and three sacks. Houston is at Tulsa on Saturday.

LSU 58, Mississippi 37

Joe "Superman" Burrow was unbelievably good against Ole Miss on Saturday night. The Heisman front-runner completed 32 of 42 passes, threw for a career-best 489 yards and five touchdowns, and the top-ranked Tigers rolled past Mississippi 58-37. LSU built an early lead, scoring on four of its first five possessions to jump out to a 28-0 lead over the Rebels. "It wasn't pretty, but we did it after a big win last week," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "We came in here to win a football game and we won by 21 points. We're 10-0 and I'm very proud of that." At one point, Burrow completed 17 consecutive passes to set a school record, passing Rohan Davey's 2001 single-season school record for yards passing. Sophomore receiver Ja'Marr Chase snagged touchdown passes of 34, 51, and 61 yards for 227 total yards for LSU. "We dug ourselves too deep a hole," Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said. "We had a chance to get it to a one possession game, but we never could get there." Ole Miss freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee finished with 212 yards rushing, a school quarterback record, three touchdowns and was 9 of 16 passing for 123 yards. LSU hosts Arkansas on Saturday.

Iowa State 23, Texas 21

Connor Assalley drilled a 36-yarder as time expired and Iowa State beat No. 22 Texas 23-21 on Saturday. Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy had 354 yards passing and two touchdowns, and he led the Cyclones 63 yards in three minutes to set up the field goal of Assalley's life. "They continue to fight when I think everyone has written us off at times," Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. "Our kids just keep playing." Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger had 273 yards and three touchdowns for the Longhorns. Ehlinger gave Texas a 21-20 lead with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Epps with 5:37 to go. But the Cyclones stuffed the Longhorns on their next possession. "Obviously a really, really poor performance by our offense the first two quarters," Texas coach Tom Herman said. "Not being able to run the ball the way we thought we would be able to was the biggest difference." Texas plays at Baylor on Saturday.

Oklahoma 34, Baylor 31

Boomer Sooner. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts threw four touchdown passes and Gabe Brkic booted a 31-yard field goal with 1:45 left to cap the Sooner's wild 34-31 comeback victory over Baylor on Saturday. Although the Sooners were without star receiver Cee Dee Lamb, Hurts was 30-of-42 passing for 297 yards, all of his touchdowns coming after Baylor took a 28-3 lead early in the second quarter. The loss snaps Baylor's 11-game win streak leaving No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson as the only undefeated FBS teams. Baylor hosts No. 19 Texas on Saturday.

TCU 33, Texas State 31

After squandering multiple 17-point leads in the first half, Jonathan Song won TCU the battle for bowl eligibility on a 20-yarder with 5:38 left to play. TCU quarterback Max Duggan accounted for 323 yards and all three touchdowns, helping the Horned Frogs to a 33-31 win over Big 12 rival Texas Tech. TCU's Vernon Scott forced a fumble by McLane Mannix on Tech's final possession. The Frogs' went into play ranked first in the Big 12 in holding opponents below their total offense average. Texas Tech, which went into the game averaging 478.6 yards, was held to 402. TCU visits Oklahoma on Saturday and Tech hosts Kansas State.

Troy 63, Texas State 27

Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker threw for 363 yards and a school-record six touchdown passes to roll over Texas State 63-27 on Saturday. Texas State quarterback Tyler Vitt was 29-of-44 passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times.

Rice 31, Middle Tennessee 28

Rice quarterback Tom Stewart threw three touchdowns and Rice beat Middle Tennessee for its first win of the season. Stewart finished 12-of-23 passing for 222 yards.

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