Dec. 7, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - University of Houston Director of Athletics Dave Maggard announced on Sunday that the Cougars have accepted a bowl bid to play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 31, in Fort Worth, Texas, against Air Force.
Houston will have a rematch against the Falcons in a game played at Amon G. Carter Stadium on the TCU campus. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
This is the second time the Cougars have played a post season game in Fort Worth. Back in 2005, Houston squared off against Kansas in the Fort Worth Bowl; a game won 42-13 by the Jayhawks.
"We had a great experience when we were there before," said Maggard. "They do a tremendous job, and we are really pleased to be going back. This is great for our fans. They will have a chance to be there, and we are encouraging our fans and alumni to come to the game.
"So, it's an outstanding opportunity for us to play Air Force again. The rematch should be an exciting one. It is all positive."
For the Cougars, this visit to the post season marks the fourth straight season and fifth out of the last six years Houston will take part in a bowl game. The last time Houston played in four consecutive bowl games was from 1978-81, when the Cougars played in two Cotton Bowls, the Garden State Bowl and the Sun Bowl.
Since 2003 Houston has played in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, 2005 Fort Worth Bowl, 2006 AutoZone Liberty Bowl and last season's Texas Bowl.
For Maggard, another bowl trip for the Cougars is keeping the program on track in returning Houston football to the national spotlight.
"I talked to one of the bowl guys today, and he said, one of the great things is that we are in the mix every year, which he said that is a good thing. The bowl people think about you now every year. (Playing in bowl games) is a step in the right direction for us. It is stabilizing our football program, and we are doing it again this year."
Houston and Air Force played on Sept 13, in a game that was relocated due to Hurricane Ike, moving from John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium to Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the SMU campus. The Cougars trailed 31-7 midway through the third quarter before starting a rally that fell three points shy of victory, 31-28.
Overcoming a 1-3 start, the Cougars rebounded to finish the regular season with a 7-5 record and 6-2 and in second place in Conference USA's West Division. Houston came within one win of representing the West in the Conference USA Championship game.
This second match-up pits the nation's No. 1 offense in Houston (575.08 yards per game) against the nation's No. 5 rushing attack in Air Force (268.92 yards per game.)
Overall, the Cougars are 7-10-1 in bowl games. Houston's first bowl appearance was a 26-21 win over Dayton in the 1952 Salad Bowl in Phoenix. Its last bowl appearance was last season, a thrilling 20-13 loss to TCU in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
This is the 12th time Houston has played a bowl game in the Lone Star State, and the Cougars have posted an overall mark of 4-6-1 in those contests.
Tickets to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are now available and should be purchased through the UH Ticket Office. You can purchase online 24 hours a day by logging on to www.uhcougars.com or by calling 713-GO-COOGS during normal business hours beginning tomorrow.
HOUSTON IN BOWLS, YEAR-BY-YEAR