King puts on a show at UH before party-minded crowd

D'Eriq King might be the next star UH quarterback. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Cougars dominated East Carolina in front of the Homecoming crowd 52-27 at TDECU Stadium. It was a great day at TDECU. The Coogs celebrated their 71st Homecoming and for the fiftth straight season are now bowl eligible. Fans had even more reason to celebrate. D’Eriq King got his moment to shine in his debut as starting quarterback for the Houston Cougars. It has not been easy trying to find a replacement for Greg Ward, who now plays on Sundays for the Eagles. He led the Cougars to a victory over Florida State in the 2016 Peach Bowl, and who can forget what he did in last year’s season opener against Oklahoma?

UH had some big cleats to fill. King, a local Houstonian, laced up as QB and passed for 330 yards with 3 touchdowns in this game. King and Ward only played together for one year, but the impact Ward made on him has only made King more driven to take the wheel. During the postgame press conference, King told media, “So I would say I wouldn’t try to be exactly like him but I try to take from him and do just as good as he did.”If King’s career ends up being anything like his first play, King will be UH’s next trademark quarterback. 

The first few plays set the tone for how the Coogs would play against ECU. Within the first minute and 20 seconds, King ran it in for a touchdown, making it 7-0. In the 3rd quarter, Steven Dunbar reached the end zone with a 74-yard pass, making it 35-17 Cougars. With only a few games left to play in their home stadium, seniors Bonner & Dunbar went for over 100 yards in receptions and paired each with a touchdown. The Coogs pulled up 52-17 in the 4thquarter, and with 7:00 minutes left the backups took over. TDECU stadium is located in the Third Ward, but boy… could you hear the band and the victory bells non-stop all the way to downtown. It was nothing but an offensive show. 

This show began on Monday with Homecoming festivities popping up around campus. Students and organizations celebrated all week, showing off their Cougar pride. From the homecoming court to the excitement of the football game, students, alumni, and the UH community rallied together to bring in this annual event. Homecoming festivities included honoring the homecoming court. It isn’t a homecoming game without your King and queen. The surprise announcement of the Queen brought tears to her eyes as she lived a moment most women only dream of happening.

Fans stood up to honor members of the 1967 UH football team at halftime. We all remember this team for beating the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans beat Penn State today, but in 1967 they could not beat the Coogs. UH legend Coach Bill Yeoman was at the helm of this team when they took down top ranked Michigan State. 

For all the alums who made it back home, the Coogs made sure to put on a show. With a bye week this upcoming Saturday and an away game, there’s only one more chance to see your Coogs at home. The day after Thanksgiving UH will host Navy to close out the season. The local quarterback and the local team need your support. If you call Houston home, hope to see you at TDECU on Nov. 24.

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There were only four games in the AAC this week, but three of them featured the conference's ranked teams. One of those ranked teams visited UH this week. Here's how I saw Week 12 in the AAC:

Coogs start hot but finish flat again

The Coogs jumped out to a 17-7 lead after the 1st quarter and looked like they were on their way to an upset. Then the second quarter happened. The Tigers outscored the Coogs 21-3 in the second quarter and never looked back cruising to a 45-27 win. UH was more than doubled up in offensive output 531 to 256. Good news: this team should be better next year and years to come. Bad news: there's two more games left this season and the offseason to wait through. If they can improve their efficiency on offense and improve to be an average to better than average defense, this team will be a top team in the conference again.

Other Key Results

Temple 29, Tulane 21: The nine points scored in the third quarter proved to be the difference between these two 6-3 teams. The Owls were up 22-7 heading into the fourth quarter when the Green wave finally found some offense.

#17 Cincinnati 20, USF 17: It took a heroic effort from Michael Warren II and a 37-yard field goal as time expired for the Bearcats to beat the Bulls. USF outgained Cincy by 160 yards, but couldn't pull off the upset of the conference's highest ranked team.

#23 Navy 20, #16 Notre Dame 52: The Midshipmen were dominated by their historic rival. The Fighting Irish recovered four fumbles on their way to a dominant performance. However, Navy still rushed for 281 yards in their loss.

Stars Of The Week

Brady White, QB, Memphis: If you saw a Power 5 quarterback threw for 341 yards and five touchdowns in an 18-point win over a conference rival on the road, you'd think he'd be in the Heisman race right? Someday, things will change for Group of 5 players, specifically in the AAC.

Michael Warren II, RB, Cincinnati: As I stated earlier, Warren kept the Bearcats in the game and helped them win almost singlehandedly. He totaled 164 yards on 28 touches and a touchdown. He accounted for 58.9% of their total yards on offense.

Jadan Blue, WR, Temple: At 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Owls win over the Green Wave, Blue accounted for 54.5% of the receptions, 44.1% of the passing yards and a third of the touchdown passes. He's the team's leading receiver this season and is only a sophmore.

Games To Watch This Week

UCF @ Tulane

SMU @ #23 Navy

Temple @ #17 Cincinnati

Players To Watch This Week

Doug Gabriel, UCF: The Golden Knights are a prolific passing team. The Green Wave are stingy against the pass. The one that wins this battle should also win the game.

Malcolm Perry, Navy: Perry is Navy's leading passer and rusher in their triple option attack. However, SMU is worse against the pass than they are against the run. Perry's performance in both phases of the offense will be key to the outcome.

Anthony Russo, Temple: If the Owls want to pull off the upset against Cincy, Russo will have to have a great game. If he can keep the chains moving via the pass game against a Bearcats defense gives up more yards in the air than on the ground, The Owls will have a shot.

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