HOMECOMING MAGIC

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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Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After the Mariners came alive late in Monday's series opener to hand the Houston the loss and keep their playoff picture hanging in the balance, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Tuesday to try and decrease their magic number. Here's how the middle game went:

Final Score: Astros 6, Mariners 1.

Record: 28-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (5-3, 3.57 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Casey Sadler (1-2, 5.40 ERA).

Both teams trade first-inning runs

The Astros struck first in Tuesday's game, not waiting around until the ninth inning to get on the board. Instead, they jumped out to an immediate 1-0 lead after a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker in the top of the first. The Mariners responded quickly, though, getting a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning before a two-out RBI-double of their own to tie it 1-1.

Astros score five in the sixth

The 1-1 score held all the way until the top of the sixth when the Astros would flip the script from the night prior, taking advantage of some mistakes by Seattle to put up a big inning. First, Michael Brantley started the inning with a solo go-ahead homer to make it 2-1. Then, Kyle Tucker would get his third hit of the night with one out before eventually scoring after a walk and two wild pitches, making it 3-2. With two walks to keep the inning alive and put some insurance runs on base, Martin Maldonado took advantage with a big three-run home run to extend the lead to 6-1.

Valdez finishes seven strong, Astros even series

After allowing the one run in the bottom of the first, Framber Valdez recovered and put together a solid outing on the mound. He allowed just five hits total, two of which came in the first, then back-to-back singles in the fourth and a single in the fifth, while otherwise keeping the Mariners at bay. He would end up completing seven innings of one-run baseball while striking out eight. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 0 HR, 108 P.

After Valdez, Enoli Paredes would take over in the bottom of the eighth, working around a leadoff single to get a scoreless inning to keep it 6-1. In the non-save situation, Josh James would come in for the bottom of the ninth and finish off the win for Houston.

Up Next: The finale and rubber game of this three-game set will start a bit earlier on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:40 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Nick Margevicius (1-3, 5.35 ERA) for the Mariners going against Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.90 ERA) for the Astros.

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