The UH/AAC Report

Houston makes Navy retreat and has an opportunity to knock off No. 21 USF

Houston makes Navy retreat and has an opportunity to knock off No. 21 USF
The UH offense was able to sink Navy. Photo via Houston Cougar Football Facebook

The weekly UH/AAC report:

Houston 49, Navy 36

UH traveled to Annapolis, MD on Saturday looking for their sixth win of the season and in an attempt to halt Navy’s elusive triple option run scheme. The Midshipmen dominated on the ground the entire first half, something they have done all season, ranking them third in rushing nationally. Consequently, Navy precisely controlled the time of possession battle with 42 minutes vs Houston’s 17. But for every Midshipmen rushing attack, the Cougars had a quick answer in QB D’Eriq King, who ended the game 25 of 38, 413 yards, and three total touchdowns, earning AAC Offensive Player of the Week honorable mentions. Jim Nantz, a UH alumnus, joined the broadcast booth to watch his Cougars and even called a 17-yard King rushing touchdown. Nantz was in the area prepping to call Sunday’s Cowboys vs. Redskins game at nearby FedEx field. The first half was entertaining, both teams traded blows and lit up the score board in a staggering manner, ending with Navy leading 24-21.

Houston adjusted greatly in the second half, where they went on an onslaught of 35 unanswered points, and an equally impressive defensive showing by Ed Oliver and company.  Senior Linebacker Austin Robinson had another monster game, where he led the team with 21 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks earning him AAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors. Ed Oliver had 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack, but was later sidelined as a precautionary measure due to an illegal chop block in the fourth quarter. But the most impressive thing about Houston was that they won the physicality battle against a military academy team. Not easy to do. They set the tone early in the second half, and constricted a tough Navy team that was seemingly scoring at will in the first.

Cougars’ WRs also showed up big despite having a couple of drops in the early parts of the game. Marquez Stevenson, Courtney Lark, and Keith Corbin each had 100+ receiving yards. The offensive line continues to be a fortress for King, where they have only allowed one sack in the last five games.

Houston is set to host No. 21 USF, one of five unbeaten teams in the FBS, and the Bulls possess dangerous weapons in QB Blake Barnett and RB Jordan Cronkite, who has had five straight 100+ rushing yards per game. UH improves to 6-1 in the season.

Houston is ranked third in scoring offense, and fourth in total offense nationally.

King's season stats in seven games: 141 of 222, three INTs, 63.5 completion percentage, 1,984 passing yards, 281 net rushing yards, 31 total TDs.

Houston is now bowl eligible for the sixth straight year after their win.

Ed Oliver is questionable vs USF due to a knee contusion.

Stats pulled via the official UH Cougar Football page.

UCF 37, ECU 10

UCF went into Greenville, NC with 20 straight wins and ranked at No. 10. The Golden Knights medical staff determined that star QB McKenzie Milton had to be benched after being closely monitored in pre-game warmups. Milton had to leave the field in their previous game vs. Memphis where he tweaked his ankle on a game winning touchdown run. QB Darriel Mack Jr. had to succeed Milton on short notice and it showed in the first half, where UCF greatly depended on their defense and even a trick play to induce their first touchdown of the game with seven minutes left. Turnovers kept the Pirates from standing a chance to make a comeback attempt, especially after they fumbled the football at the UCF 1-yard line, only to be recovered and converted into a dagger defensive TD. ECU falls to 2-5, and will play Memphis after its bye. UCF continues to be on a roll and head into next week at 7-0 as they will host Temple in Orlando.

USF 38, UConn 30

No, 21 USF got off to a slow start against a UConn team that went into this game at 1-5. Turnovers and a persistent rushing attack created by the Huskies were the two factors on why this game was so close. UConn RBs dominated the ground where David Pinell had 28 carries, 197 rushing yards, and two TDs, and Kevin Mensah had 19 carries, 120 rushing yards, and two TDs. The difference came in the third quarter where the Bulls returned a kickoff for 65 yards, which led QB Blake Barnett to rush in a quick 21-yard TD. USF RBs Johnny Ford and Jordan Cronkite rushed for over 100 yards and scored three TDs. UConn falls to 1-6 and will play UMass at home. USF improves to 7-0 and will visit a Houston team that is more than capable to dethrone them from their Top 25 ranked status.

Temple 24, Cincinnati 17

Cincinnati went into this game at 6-0 and ranked 20th as they visited Temple in Philly. The Bearcats fumbled the ball twice in their opening possessions allowing Temple to score 10 early points. Temple QB Anthony Russo completed 20 of 41, 237 passing yards, three TDs and three INTs. What kept this game so close was the amount of turnovers both offenses were coughing up. The game then went into overtime tied at 17 points apiece. The Owls scored first and defended Cincinnati well on their attempt to tie the game to remain alive. But the Bearcats made a costly communication error at the point of the snap via fumble and backed themselves 10 costly yards, where they then would go on to throw a pick and ended their win streak. Cincinnati is kicked out of the Top 25 rankings and head into SMU with a 6-1 record. Temple faces a tough task at UCF and improve to 5-3.

Other Notable Results in the AAC

Arkansas 23, Tulsa 0

SMU 27, Tulane 23

Missouri 65, Memphis 33


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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”


Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.


Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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