Tuesday, December 08, 2015

AAC Championship: Houston 24, Temple 13

The Cougars clinched their first conference championship since 2006 last weekend, defeating the AAC East champion, 22nd-ranked Temple, at TDECU Stadium. (Check out these awesome pictures of the game.)

The Good: Greg Ward, Jr was his usual self, rushing for 148 yards and two touchdowns. The Cougar defense forced two turnovers, stopped three Temple fourth-down conversion attempts and limited the Owl offense to a single touchdown.

The Bad: The UH offense sputtered in the second half, with three-consecutive three-and-outs even as the Owls scored the game's final ten points. Temple quarterback P.J.Walker had his way with the UH defense, passing for 287 yards and a touchdown.

The Ugly: Employees of security contractor CSC, in a (generally unsuccessful) attempt to keep students from rushing the field after the game, were filmed physically assaulting people. This story made national news, and the University of Houston has terminated its contract with CSC as a result.

What it means: By virtue of being the highest-ranked "Group of Five" school, the Cougars have punched their ticket to the so-called "New Year's Six" group of bowl games; they will face Florida State in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on December 31.

Whether the Coogs can beat the Seminoles, I have no idea. What I do know is that, regardless of the Peach Bowl's outcome, the 2015 season is an unqualified success. 12 wins, a conference championship, a "New Year's Six" bowl: this was the year long-suffering UH fans have been waiting for, and I don't think anybody, save the most delusionally-optimistic of UH fans, could have predicted something like this back in August. (I sure as Hell didn't!) I'm pretty happy right now.

Go Coogs!

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