Navy, Houston playing for pride, second place in the West Division

(Patrick) #1

Speaking during the American Athletic Conference weekly teleconference on Monday, both head coaches lamented the near misses that have defined this season so far. All four of Navy’s losses have come by 10 points or less with a 24-17 defeat at Notre Dame last Saturday being the latest.

“In three of our four losses we’ve had the ball at the end with a chance to tie or take the lead,” Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “So we’re losing some closes games. In the past, we’ve won those close games.”

It has been a similar story for Houston, which suffered a 20-17 loss to Tulane last Saturday in New Orleans. The Cougars had taken a 17-13 lead late in the fourth quarter, but allowed the host Green Wave to respond with a go-ahead touchdown less than 60 seconds later with quarterback Jonathan Banks connecting with wide receiver Terren Encalade on a 64-yard touchdown pass.

“When you look at three of our four losses are by a combined 10 points… it’s difficult to swallow, but you’re motivated to go back and go fix those mistakes and make things better,” Houston head coach Major Applewhite said. “We have to address those issues because we could have a better record than we do currently.”

(Mike Higdon) #2

In pre-season magazines that I purchased, Dave Campbell predicted us to be 5-3 in the AAC, Street and Smith predicted us to be 3rd in the west division behind Navy and Tulsa, and Athlon projected us to be 3rd in the West behind Memphis and Navy, but with a 5-3 record in conference and 7-5 overall. So, all things considered, we are about where projected. We can still be 2nd in the west and finish 5-3 in AAC play.


The three teams we have lost to have 12 wins and 21 losses. If we were going to lose three, I would have preferred losing to good teams.