If Houston is to pull off a Week 9 upset, it’ll have to do so without arguably the most talented defensive lineman in the country.
After not practicing throughout the week because of a bruised right knee suffered during Houston’s Week 8 win over Navy, Ed Oliver was questionable heading into today’s game against No. 21 South Florida. With the mid-afternoon kickoff of the road trip for the Cougars fast approaching, UH has confirmed that the standout defensive tackle will not play against the Bulls.
Double-teamed most times — and even triple-teamed on occasion — Oliver was held sack-less through the first six games of this season. The last two, however, he was credited with three — two against East Carolina, one against Navy.
In March of this year, Oliver announced that the 2018 season would be his last at the collegiate level as he will leave the Cougars early and make himself available for the 2019 NFL draft, where he is widely projected to be a Top Five selection at worst.
After a consensus Freshman All-American season that saw him land on numerous first-team All-American squads, Oliver was a consensus All-American in a 2017 season that saw him become the first underclassman to win the Outland Trophy in the 70-year history of the award.
In his first two seasons with the Cougars, the 6-3, 290-pound Oliver had totaled 39.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. In addition to the three sacks, Oliver has 13.5 tackles for loss this season; his 1.9 tackles for loss are tied for third nationally.