Texas Bowl Set to Kick Off in Houston
College football’s bowl season is underway and, as usual, the state of Texas is right in the middle of the action, hosting a number of great matchups. In Houston this Friday, the Texas Bowl is set to kick off, matching two teams from the Lone Star State against each other. TCU and the University of Houston will slug it out at Reliant Stadium on the 28th at 8:00 PM. The two teams are former conference rivals from their days together in the old Southwest Conference, but now each has found a new home with TCU joining the Mountain West, and Houston, Conference USA.
Of course, the end of college football season not only method bowl games, but also the beginning of that other winter contest – coaching changes. Houston lost the coach that brought a high-octane, no-huddle offense to the school when Art Briles decided to take over at Baylor. Houston will be helmed in the future by Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator, Kevin Sumlin, but for this game, Cougars assistant Chris Thurmond will assume the role of interim head coach.
The Cougars have two noticeable players in running back Anthony Aldridge, and redshirt freshman quarterback Case Keenum. For the season, Aldridge has rushed for 1568 yards and 14 touchdowns, and needs just 190 yards to set a new single season school rushing record. Keenum is the Conference USA freshman of the year, after tallying 1924 yards passing, with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Houston’s record on the year is 8-4.
TCU is coming off a substantial, but disappointing year in the Mountain West, in which the Horned Frogs started the season ranked 22nd, moved to 19th, and then dropped out after posting their only two losses in back to back games against Texas and Air Force. TCU went on to post a 7-5 record, good for 5th place in the Mountain West. The Horned Frogs have gotten their running game going at the end of the season, rushing for 627 yards in the last two games. Joseph Turner ran for 226 yards and four touchdowns against San Diego State in the last game of the year. The defense is led by three-time all Mountain West Conference first-teamer Chase Ortiz, who has posted 8 sacks, and 15 1/2 tackles for losses on the season.
TCU’s record in bowl games is 9-12-1 overall, while UH posts a 7-9-1 record. Houston leads the overall series between the two schools, 13-11.