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

College Basketball Report

UH rolls into Top 25; UT splits

Galen Robinson has been a beast for UH. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

TEXAS LONGHORNS (6-3)

Last week (1-1):
L- VCU 54-53, W- Purdue 72-68.

This week: Saturday vs. Grand Canyon.

Texas basketball continues to be a roller coaster this year. The week started with the Horns dropping their third straight game, 54-53 to VCU. It was an ugly game for offense, as the Rams won the game shooting just 28%. Texas committed 18 turnovers in the game, and VCU turned those into 17 points. Kerwin Roach was the poster boy for the offensive struggles, as he went 1-for-11 from the field. Jericho Sims was the only Longhorn in double digits, scoring 14 in the loss. Texas then came back with a 72-68 win over Purdue. The three-ball finally started falling for Texas, who hit 44% from deep. Turnovers continue to plague Texas, though, adding 15 more in the game. Matt Coleman led the charge offensively for Texas, scoring 22 points in the win. Texas has just one game this week, Saturday vs. Grand Canyon.

TEXAS A&M; AGGIES (3-4)

Last week (0-0): Boston College- Canceled

This week: Saturday vs. Oregon State

The Aggies didn't play this week. Their scheduled game against Boston College was canceled due to mechanical issues with BC's charter plane, compounded by poor weather in the northeast. The Aggies are back in action on Saturday against Oregon State.

HOUSTON COUGARS (8-0)

Last week (2-0): W- Lamar- 79-56, W- @ Oklahoma State 63-53

This week: Wednesday vs. LSU, Sunday vs. Saint Louis

Cougar hoops continues to roll, tacking on two more wins last week. The first was a 79-56 drubbing of Lamar. The win was the 21st straight home win for UH, and it was never in question. Galen Robinson led the way with 20 points, and Armani Brooks added 17 points and 9 rebounds. The Cougars hit 47% of their shots and were plus-10 in rebounding. They then traveled to Stillwater, OK, and promptly put the boots to Oklahoma State 63-53. Brooks had another big game, posting 23 points and 8 rebounds in the win. Rebounding was strong all around for Houston, winning that battle 44-33. The two wins were enough to push UH into the AP top 25, coming in at number 24. The Cougars get LSU and Saint Louis next week.

RICE OWLS (3-6)

Last week (0-0): No games.

This week: Thursday vs. St. Edwards, Saturday vs. UC-Santa Barbara

The Owls didn't play last week. They have two home games this week, against St. Edwards and UC-Santa Barbara.

BAYLOR BEARS (5-3)

Last week (0-0): No games.

This week: Saturday @ Arizona.

The Bears didn't play last week. They have a game at Arizona on Saturday.

TCU HORNED FROGS (7-1)

Last week (2-0): W- @ SMU 67-59, W- USC 96-61

This week: Sunday vs. Indiana State

The Horned Frogs had a good week, taking in two wins this week. The first was their first road game of the season, going about 40 miles to SMU's campus, where the Frogs took a 67-59 win. Jaylen Fisher and JD Miller both had 15 points in the win. All 15 of Fisher's points came from behind the arc. The Frogs then went out to LA, and dominated USC by a score of 96-61. TCU led by 20 at half and never turned back. Fisher again hit 5 3-pointers, accounting for all 15 of his points. Alex Robinson also had 15 points in the win. His 8 assists padded his lead as the country's top assist man. The Frogs have just one game this week, Sunday against Indiana State.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (8-0)

Last week: W- Arkansas-Pine Bluff 65-47

This week: Wednesday vs. Northwestern State, Saturday vs. Abilene Christian

Texas Tech is still unbeaten, and still climbing the rankings after a 65-47 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Tech has been a force on defense all season long, and this one was no exception. Pine Bluff shot 32% from the field and turned the ball over 20 times. Jarrett Culver led the way for Tech with 13 points, on a night where the offense wasn't exactly in sync. Tech is now ranked 13th, and starting to garner some real respect nationally. They have two free throw games this week, against Northwestern State and Abilene Christian.

SMU MUSTANGS (6-4)

Last week (0-1): L- TCU 67-59

This week: Saturday @ Georgetown

After three wins a week ago, SMU got sent back to earth against TCU, 67-59. The offense was a real problem for the Mustangs, who shot 36% from the field and just 16% from 3-point range. Jahmal McMurray was a bright spot for SMU, scoring 19 points, but even he shot an inefficient 8-22 from the field. SMU hits the road for a game at Georgetown this week.

LSU TIGERS (7-2)

Last week (1-0): W- Incarnate Word 91-50

This week: Wednesday @ Houston, Saturday vs. Saint Mary's

The LSU freshmen didn't play well a week ago, but they came back strong against Incarnate Word in a 91-50 win. Nad Reid and Ja'vonte Smart. Kavell Bigby-Williams added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers in the win. They led by 22 at half and never let the Cardinals within 20 points again. LSU shot 56% from the field and held the Cardinals to just 32%. Things will not be easy for the Tigers this week, as they have a trip to Houston and a home game against St. Mary's on the schedule.

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