The season of in-season decisions about redshirting is in full swing. After some earlier headlines generated some buzz about his potential future, Houston quarterback D’Eriq King has released a statement through Houston’s football program that confirms he will indeed be redshirting for the remainder of the 2019 season. He won’t be alone. Wide receiver Keith Corbin released a similar statement to say he will be redshirting for the remainder of the 2019 season as well.
What King did not say in his official statement is he is intending to leave the program behind. In fact, King said in his statement he plans on remaining a part of the Houston program moving forward.
“I came here to play football for the University of Houston and that is not changing,” King said in a statement. “After carefully thinking through this process with my family and Coach Holgorsen, I have decided the opportunity to redshirt this season gives me the best chance to develop as a player, earn my degree and set me up for the best success in the future. I’m looking forward to being a part of the success of this program going forward.”
Now, “being a part of the success of this program going forward” is an interesting line to put in there, especially when earlier in the day King’s father was quoted as saying his son was leaving Houston (it’s worth mentioning King said his decision was not final). Bottom line, this is a pretty vague line that doesn’t really close the door on anything.
“Having the opportunity to take time and focus on the completion of my degree, plus having the chance to develop as a student-athlete is why I have decided to redshirt for the remainder of the 2019 season,” Corbin said in a released statement. “Coach Holgorsen, myself and my family both took time to make this decision. Being a Cougar has been one of the best decisions I have made, and I’m ready to take this time to help our program develop for the future.”
Houston is 1-3 to start the season with losses to Oklahoma, Washington State and Tulane (the lone win came against Prairie View), and this is not exactly the kind of start Houston was envisioning for head coach Dana Holgorsen. Still with a lot of football to be played, the season is hardly a lost cause for the Cougars unless their sights were set on playing in a New Years Sic bowl game (which of course, they should have been), but even that is not entirely out of the equation just yet, even if it feels a bit distant. More importantly, Houston’s offense now has some tremendous shoes to fill. Logan Holgorsen (son of the head coach) is the only other quarterback to have thrown a pass this season, which was completed for five yards by the freshman. Corbin was also Houston’s second-leading receiver with 192 yards on 11 catches with a pair of touchdowns.
And now for a quarterback award watch list that won’t include a certain starting quarterback form Clemson or Alabama. The Johnny Unitas Foundation has released the watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to college football’s top senior or fourth-year quarterback. This year’s watch list includes some recognizable names such as Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
Former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew was named the winner of the award in 2018. Just one finalist for the 2018 award is on the watch list this season. Michigan’s Shea Patterson is that player (UCF’s McKenzie Milton was a finalist last year but is not expected to play this season despite still being at UCF as he recovers from his season-ending injury from late in 2018).
Other past winners include Deshaun Watson (2016), Marcus Mariota (2014), Andrew Luck (2011), Matt Ryan (2007), Eli Manning (2003), Carson Palmer (2002) and Peyton Manning (1997).
2019 Golden Arm Award Watch List Presented by A. O. Smith
- Jack Abraham, Southern Mississippi
- Blake Barnett, University of South Florida
- Woody Barrett, Kent State
- Jake Bentley, University of South Carolina
- Anthony Brown, Boston College
- Kelly Bryant, Missouri
- Joe Burrow, LSU
- Stephen Buckshot Calvert, Liberty
- Marcus Childers, Northern Illinois
- K.J. Costello, Stanford Unversity
- Jacob Eason, Washington University
- Caleb Evans, University of Louisiana Monroe
- Mason Fine, North Texas
- Feleipe Franks, University of Florida
- Mitchell Guadagni, Toledo
- Jarrett Guarantano, University of Tennessee
- Gage Gubrud, Washington State University
- Quentin Harris, Duke University
- Justin Herbert, University of Oregon
- Kelvin Hopkins, Jr., Army
- Tyler Huntley, University of Utah
- Jalen Hurts, University of Oklahoma
- Josh Jackson, University of Maryland
- D’Eriq King, Houston
- Brian Lewerke, Michigan State University
- Jordan Love, Utah State University
- Jake Luton, Oregon State University
- Cole McDonald, University of Hawaii
- Justin McMillan, Tulane
- Steven Montez, University of Colorado
- James Morgan, FIU
- Riley Neal, Vanderbilt University
- Kato Nelson, Akron
- Shea Patterson, University of Michigan
- Bryce Perkins, University of Virginia
- Malcolm Perry, Navy
- Peyton Ramsey, Indiana University
- Armani Rogers, UNLV
- Nathan Rourke, Ohio
- Anthony Russo, Temple University
- J’Mar Smith, Louisiana Tech
- Nate Stanley, University of Iowa
- Dillon Sterling-Cole, Arizona State University
- Khalil Tate, University of Arizona
- Zac Thomas, Appalachian State University
- Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
- Brady White, University of Memphis
- Ryan Willis, Virginia Tech
- Brandon Wimbush, University of Central Florida
While UCF may get the majority of the national spotlight when discussing the American Athletic Conference, the Houston Cougars (6-1, 3-0 AAC) made certain the path to the AAC Championship Game out of the West Division will continue to go through them. A 49-36 victory on the road at Navy moved AAC to being the only undefeated team in conference play in the West Division.
Houston quarterback D’Eriq King passed for 413 yards and three touchdowns without an interception, and he led the Cougars in the running game with 56 rushing yards and a touchdown in the road win against the Midshipmen. Navy rushed for 344 yards as a team, typical for their offense against most opponents, but Houston was able to avoid being worn down on defense.
The loss sinks Navy to 2-5 this season and the chance to go to a seventh straight bowl game is beginning to fade. Ken Niumatalolo has only had one losing season in his time at Navy, going 5-7 in 2011, but it is beginning to look as though he will have his second losing season this fall. Navy will play Notre Dame in San Diego next week, and that is followed by road games in conference play against Cincinnati and UCF.
Of course, Navy also ends the season in the Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia against an Army program well on their way to a winning season and a bowl berth regardless of what happens in the rivalry game.
Meanwhile, Houston is hoping to be able to play their way into the New Years Six conversation, one this program should be capable of doing on a regular basis. At 6-1, Houston is every bit as worthy of being in the New Years Six discussion among Group of Five programs. Even if Houston loses a second game, it may not be impossible to pull off given the rest of the Group of Five landscape either. Houston will host South Florida next week, and the Cougars will also host Temple and Tulane and visit SMU and Memphis in the second half of the season.
Houston had trouble beating Texas Tech on Saturday, even though they tried throwing forward passes twice on the same play.
In a game that was described as being defense-optional, it would appear the officiating was optional too at times. Early in the third quarter, with Houston trailing by a touchdown, the Cougars ran quite a play that bewildered the officials. Quarterback D’Eriq King threw a quick forward pass to wide receiver Marquez Stevenson. Stevenson scrambled to get away from defenders and then lobbed a pass downfield to Keith Corbin for a gain of 31 yards.
Somehow, the officials let this illegal double forward-pass play go by without a penalty flag.
Though it did not end up costing Texas Tech the game (the Red Raiders won 63-49), this play did pick up a first down on a 2nd & 23 and the drive later ended with a game-tying touchdown by the Cougars to open up the second half.
Remember, it’s only illegal if you get caught.
As Houston prepares for a game that could quickly become a shootout of sorts with Texas Tech, the Cougars could have one more wide receiver good to go this weekend. D’Eriq King is expected to make his season debut for the Cougars this week after missing the past two games coming off an offseason knee injury.
Houston head coach Major Applewhite announced on the radio he feels his young wide receiver option is finally ready to get back at it, and it could come at no better time.
As a freshman in 2016, King caught 20 passes in 10 games for 228 yards and a touchdown. King was expected to be a contributor to the offense this season. Having a healthy receiver is going to be key against a Texas Tech offense that will not shy away from the pass.