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.

Photo courtesy of ABC13/Orange Coast College

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

A University of Houston alum was with basketball legend Kobe Bryant and seven others when their helicopter crashed near Los Angeles and killed all nine people on board, multiple sources told ABC News and ESPN.

Orange Coast College confirmed long-time head baseball coach John Altobelli was one of the victims in the deadly helicopter crash.

Sources told ESPN the retired NBA star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the victims in the Sunday, January 26 morning crash. The Los Angeles Sheriff said nine people were on board, including the pilot, but would not release the identities of the victims.

The University of Houston, where Altobelli graduated from and was once assistant coach, released a statement confirming that Altobelli's wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were also among the victims.

ABC13 spoke with John's younger brother, Tony, on the evening of January 26.

"I think we're all just kind of hurting right now. We're all kind of shell shocked," Tony said. "I know it hasn't hit me 100 percent yet, that's why I think I can still talk to you right now."

Local coach, Russell Stockton, played under Altobelli and was his friend. Stockton remembers him as a successful coach, winning four titles for Orange Coast College.

Continue on CultureMap to read the statement released by the University of Houston.

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