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Houston Hosts Tulane in AAC Football Action

Houston Cougars Athletics

Must Win Situation for Houston and Tulane

The Tulane Green Wave and the Houston Cougars meet in a key American Athletic Conference matchup Thursday at TDECU Stadium. They both need a win in to stay in the hunt for the league’s West Division title.

Tulane’s three-game win streak and Houston’s two straight losses have set up a logjam atop the West with SMU. The Mustangs hold the tiebreaker over both.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN.

LINE: Houston -8; O/U: 68.5.

Quarterback Justin McMillan has won all three games since taking over as starter for Tulane. The Green Wave defense is what has made a difference. Tulane has allowed 16.6 points during the win streak. They set an NCAA record with 20 pass breakups last week.

Houston’s defense has been the problem for the Cougars lately. They have allowed 104 points and 1,051 yards in losses to SMU and Temple. All-American defensive lineman Ed Oliver hasn’t played in three weeks because of a bruised knee. The Cougars are without two other starting defensive lineman as Jerard Carter and Isaiah Chambers are lost for the season with injuries.

Tulane and Houston are Heading in Different Directions

Tulane is 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the AAC. McMillan has 721 passing yards, six passing touchdowns and no interceptions in six appearances.  He had scores for 86, 73 and 79 yards last week. Darnell Mooney and Terren Encalade have 11 TD receptions for the Green Wave.

Tulane has rushed for at least 100 yards in 38 straight games.

Senior cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. has a team-best three interceptions and 15 pass breakups. He had six last week. End Patrick Johnson is second in the American with nine sacks.

The Green Wave held their past three opponents to fewer than 20 points. They joined California, Clemson, Georgia and Michigan with that distinction.

Houston is 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the AAC. Quarterback D’Eriq King has 2,900 passing yards and leads the nation with 35 touchdown passes. He has added another 13 on the ground. Houston is ranked second nationally in total offense at 546.1 yards.

King’s 10-game run with at least one rushing score is the nation’s longest active streak. King needs four touchdown passes to break the AAC’s single-season record of 38. It was set by Memphis’ Riley Ferguson, 2017. He broke the league’s record for touchdowns responsible for last week.

The Cougars have six receivers with multiple touchdown catches.

The Cougars have forced at least one turnover in all 10 games this season. Recent struggles have dropped them to last nationally in passing yards allowed at 314.1  and 124th in red-zone defense. They have allowed 42 scores in 45 trips.

PREDICTION: Houston 48, Tulane 38

College Football Betting Odds & Trends


Next up:
Tulane home to Navy Saturday, November 24
Houston at Memphis Friday, November 23

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