The Cougars ended an up-and-down 2017 season on a high note, defeating Navy at home last Friday afternoon. The Coogs started off slow and actually trailed 7-14 at halftime, but scored 17 unanswered points in the second half.
The Good: Quarterback D'Eriq King completed 21 of 27 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown, and rushed 16 times for another 57 yards and two touchdowns. Ed Oliver went into beast mode against the Midshipmen running game, recording 2 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss as part of a 14-tackle afternoon. Cougar cornerback Alexander Myres's interception late in the game ended any hope of a Navy comeback.
The Bad: The entire first half, for Houston. The Cougar offense sputtered, kick returner John Leday fumbled a kickoff return, the Cougar defense gave up touchdowns on drives of 75 and 55 yards, and at the half the Midshipmen dominated in total yardage (212 yards to 119) and time of possession (20:29 minutes to 9:31 minutes). Fortunately, the second half was much better for Houston; however, they still ended the game with fewer first downs, more turnovers and more penalty yards than Navy.
What It Means: The Cougars end the 2017 season with a 7-4 record (which is one win ahead of my preseason prediction), which is good for second place in the AAC West Division, and now wait to find out which bowl they'll be attending. I'll have more thoughts about the 2017 campaign once that game has been played.