2018 Armed Forces Bowl: Houston Outmatched In Disappointing Loss
FORT WORTH - The Houston Cougars came into Fort Worth hoping to pull the upset over a very talented Army West Point squad. However, with senior defensive end Ed Oliver sitting out the bowl game and junior quarterback D’Eriq King injured, the Cougars were running thin experience wise and it showed as Army won the Armed Forces Bowl for the second straight year with an impressive 70-14 win.
Lack of player experience showed on offense as freshman quarterback Clayton Tune was sacked by Army for an Armed Forces Bowl record ten times. On a brighter note, Tune finished the day completing 21 out of 32 pass attempts for 230 yards and a touchdown. He even ran in a touchdown from six yards out.
Romello Brooker, the Houston MVP of the game, expressed his thoughts on what went wrong offensively. “We were shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. “We stopped ourselves, we were our own worst enemies today.”
Defense was no better as Houston gave up 507 rush yards to Army, a new Armed Forces Bowl record. Army finished the day with 592 total yards and ten touchdowns, eight on them on the ground. The Houston defense also failed to get off the field numerous times as Army went a perfect seven for seven on third down conversions.
Houston head coach Major Applewhite expressed his thoughts on the game and thanked his players for hanging in there to finish the game.
“I told the guys in the locker room thank you, even though it’s a disappointing loss, thank you,” he said. “Also the name on the back of your jersey lasts a lot longer so make sure to take of yourself over the break, do the right thing and get come back in shape. We’re going to come back in January, set the ball down and get ready for the off season.”
The Cougars finish the season at 8-5 and will head back to Houston to regroup for the offseason.