That's the game, folks. Houston will move on and play in a New Year's Six Bowl as the top Group of 5 team. Thanks for coming to the. I'm Maxwell Rizer and enjoy the rest of Championship Saturday.
(Q4 0:30) Another kneel and time runs out. Houston wins the first ever AAC Championship Game by a final score of 24-13
(Q4 1:01) Houston kneels it in victory formation with time for one last play
(Q4 1:01) Temple calls their final timeout
(Q4 1:07) Houston running the clock down and Wilson picks up 10 yards to keep the clock running. 1st and 10
(Q4 1:53) Ward Jr. keeps the snap for six yards to get the first down.
(Q4 1:58) On 1st and 10, Wilson picks up seven yards to mkae it 2nd and 3. Another timeout for Temple
(Q4 2:05) Another fumbles snap but Walker picks it up and is three yards short of the first down. Another tunrover on downs
(Q4 2:42) Walker drops the snap and is buried to make it 4th and 11. Going for it
(Q4 2:42) Temple calls their first timeout of the half as they let too much time run off the clock. Their time management may be preventing them for a potential comeback
(Q4 3:27) Walker is pressured and gets it to Deloatch for only 2. 3rd and 8
(Q4 3:32) Walker's pass to Anderson is batted up into the air but no one comes down with it. 2nd and 10
(Q4 3:48) Walker fires it to Deloatch for a huge pickup of 22 yards. 1st and 10
(Q4 4:23) Thomas gets it again to pick up two. 2nd and 8
(Q4 4:50) Thomas gets it for a gain of 19 for a fresh set of downs
(Q4 4:54) Walker's pass to Deloatch is incomplete to make it 3rd and 2
(Q4 5:19) Temple starts off at the 17 yard line. The 1st and 10 produces a Walker scramble and picks up 8. 2nd and 2
(Q4 5:35) Ward Jr. is pressured and has to throw it away. Another 3rd and out for Houston as Temple gets another chance for it as Houston will punt it away
(Q4 6:18) Wilson gets the swing pass for a gain of seven. 3rd and 7
(Q4 6:45) Webb fights forward for the first as a flag is thrown for holding against Houston. 2nd and 14 now
(Q4 7:13) Ward Jr. keeps the snap and picks up six for a 2nd and 4
(Q4 7:18) Walker cannot complete it to Jennings following questionable coverage as Temple turns it over on downs again and that play may have decided the game. Still seven minutes left.
(Q4 7:25) Walker has to throw it away and it is now 4th and 3 as Temple will go for it on 4th again
(Q4 8:03) Thomas takes the handoff for two to make it 3rd and 3.
(Q4 8:40) On the 45, Walker gets it to Anderson for a gain of five. 2nd and 5
(Q4 8:46) Walker overthrows Anderson but flags fly for pass interference against Houston keeps the drive alive with a 1st and 10
(Q4 8:57) Walker scrambles about 20 yards backwards and threw it away, dangerously, but falls incomplete. 3rd and 16
(Q4 9:37) Temple starts with more excellent field possession on their own 48. On 1st and 10, Walker throws to Anderson on the screen but loses six on the play. 2nd and 16
(Q4 9:50) Ward Jr. has to throw away and Temple's defense forces a crucial three and out as Houston now has to punt the ball away.
(Q4 10:35) Webb is stopped at the line once again to make it 3rd and 6, needing to convert here
(Q4 11:21) Houston starts on the 11 yard line following a poor kick return. On 1st and 10, Webb is eaten up for only a gain of one. 2nd and 9
(Q4 11:33) Austin Jones converts on the 39 yard field goal try to bring the lead closer, as Houston is still up 24-13.
(Q4 11:37) The pass from Walker to Bryant is broken up just outside of the endzone and it is 4th and 8.
(Q4 12:15) Walker throws it to Anderson for the gain of seven, 3rd and 8 just outside of the redzone
(Q4 12:43) Hood gets the screen pass for a gain of five. 2nd and 15
(Q4 13:06) Thomas goes left and breaks a few tackles to pick up nine. Flag on the offense for holding to make it 1st and 20
(Q4 13:40) Walker throws to Thomas for a few but enough to convert and get the 1st down
(Q4 14:20) Thomas gets stopped short of the first as it is now 4th and 1. Offense stays on the field to go for it
(Q4 15:00) Walker gets it to Anderson for a gain of eight. 3rd and 2
The third quarter comes to a close as it is 24-10 with Houston on top. Temple has momentum on their side to close out the quarter with a touchdown and a huge defensive stop. Intersting to see if the momentum will continue over or if Houston can put the Owls to sleep here
(Q3 0:03) Walker's pass falls short of Anderson to make it 2nd and 10
(Q3 0:41) Thomas goes to the right to get the first down. 1st and 10
(Q3 1:16) Temple starts with it at the 49 yard line and on 1st and 10, Thomas finds a hole and picks up nine yards to make it 2nd and 1
(Q2 1:31) Ward Jr.'s pass is batted down at the line of scrimmage, forcing Houston to go three and out and punt it on 4th and 7
(Q3 2:12) Wilson runs it for a gain of three. 3rd and 7 deep in their own territory
(Q3 2:19) On the kick return, holding penalty on Houston brings the ball back to the 8. On 1st and 10, Ward Jr. airs it out to Allen down field but he cannot come down with it. 2nd and 10
(Q3 2:32) Walker hits Anderson in the back corner of the endzone for a touchdown, giving Temple some life in the game. PAT is good but Temple is still down 24-10.
(Q3 2:37) Walker throws it to Deloatch but a missed pass interference call leads to an incompletion. 2nd and 10
(Q3 3:21) Walker finds Anderson opens who gets it to the 13 yard line. 1st and 10 and knocking on the endzone
(Q3 3:39) Deloatch brings in the pass for a gain of 6. 2nd and 4
(Q3 4:05) Walker gets it to Bryant for a first down but a flag out for holding on the defense. Penalty declined and Temple still has the first on the 32
(Q3 4:10) Walker throws a bullet to Anderson but he cannot haul it in. 3rd and 8
(Q3 4:48) Thomas gets the handoff and is eaten up again in the backfield for a loss of three. 2nd and 8
(Q3 5:06) Offsides on Houston for five yards. 1st and 5
(Q3 5:31) Walker rolls right and picks up 10 yards on the scramble for a 1st down and now in Houston territory
(Q3 6:05) Walker fires it to Anderson who marched forward for a 22 yard gain. 1st and 10
(Q3 6:40) Temple starts on the 20 and on 1st and 10, Thomas is eaten up in the backfield for a loss of four. 2nd and 14
(Q3 6:47) Following a short run on 1st, Ward Jr. runs to the right and gets into the endzone for a touchdown. However, Ward Jr. injures his ribs on the tackle and needed help off. PAT is good and Houston is now up big, 24-3. Concerning for Houston though
(Q3 7:39) On a reverse pass, they air it out and are in the redzone now. 1st and 10
(Q3 8:16) Ward Jr. was off to the races but tripped up at the ankles but still gets a huge gain. 1st and 10 on the 30
(Q3 9:00) Ward Jr. is forced to scramble to the right and picks up 1 yard. 2nd and 9
(Q3 9:37) Wilson gets the handoff up the middle for a first down conversion
(Q3 10:18) Following the failed 4th down conversion, Houston takes over on their own 29 yard line. On 1st and 1o, Ward Jr. keeps it on the option for a gain of 9. 2nd and 1
(Q3 10:22) Walker's pass is batted down at the line and it is a turnover on downs for Temple as they tried to risk it but couldn't convert
(Q3 10:28) Walker goes deep for Jennings in the endzone but bobbles it on the way down and is incomplete. 4th and 4 as Temple will go for it
(Q3 11:09) Thomas runs to the left and picks up five yards on the run. 3rd and 5
(Q3 11:13) Walker fires deep to Anderson again for the endzone but cannot bring it down. 2nd and 10
(Q3 11:45) Walker fires it deeps to Anderson for a gain of 41 yards. 1st and 10 on the 35
(Q3 12:22) Starting on the 29 yard line, Thomas gets the handoff and only picks up three yards. 2nd and 7
(Q3 12:34) Ward Jr. fires deep for Ayers but cannot pull it down as they will now punt it on 4th down
(Q3 13:14) Ward Jr. keeps it and is stopped for a gain of only two. 3rd and 6
(Q3 14:01) Ward Jr. flushed out of the pockets and runs left for a gain of 2. 2nd and 8
(Q3 14:27) Ward Jr. runs right and picks up 13 yards for the 1st down
(Q3 14:54) With excellent field position at the 35 yard line, on 1st and 10, Wilson runs through a hole and gets a gain of 4. 2nd and 6
(1:50 PM ET) Kickoff will be underway in moments as both teams are now back out on the field.
(1:44 PM ET) Kickoff for the second half will is projected 1:49 PM ET (12:47 PM CT)
Houston will receive the opening kickoff of the second half when we resume play.
The half comes to a close as Houston is up 17-3 over Temple. Temple has looked very shaky while Houston has been firing on all cylinders. Temple has already turned the ball over twice, including once in the redzone. Houston has been executing on offense and applying the pressure on defense to keep them on top.
(Q2 0:12) Wilson marches forward for a gain of 12 to make it 1st and 10
(Q2 0:54) Wilson is stopped at the line to make it 3rd and 10.
(Q2 1:39) Houston starts on the 22 yard line and on 1st and 10, Ward Jr. swings it out to Webb but Matakevich takes him down for a loss of 1. 2nd and 11
(Q2 1:50) Austin Jones drills the ball through the uprights on the 40 yard attempt to put Temple on the board but still down 17-3.
(Q2 2:05) Walker is blitzed but gets the pass to Jennings for a gain of 3. 4th and 8 as the field goal unit is out
(Q2 2:48) Walker sacked by Stephen Taylor and makes it 3rd and 11
(Q2 3:24) Walker scrambles and runs for a gain of two. 2nd and 8 on the 22 yard line, knocking on the endzone
(Q2 3:49) Major hauls in the pass in traffic for another 1st down
(Q2 4:15) Walker is pressured but gets it to Jennings for a big gain. 1st and 10
(Q2 4:55) Hood takes the ball for a gain of 3. 3rd and 7
(Q2 4:59) Walker's pass is batted down and now 2nd and 10
(Q2 5:26) Starting on the 26, Walker fires it to Shippen for a gain of 21. 1st and 10
(Q2 5:40) Ward Jr. goes outside on the keeper and takes it 47 yards down the sideline for a score. PAT is good and go up 17-0
(Q2 6:00) Wilson goes wide and is short of the first by two yard. 3rd and 2
(Q2 6:39) Wilson is stopped for only a yard to make it 2nd and 9
(Q2 7:03) Wilson takes it and runs it for the first on a gain of 9
(Q2 7:31) Houston starts at the 29 and Webb picks up eight to make it 2nd and 2
(Q2 7:46) Walker's pass is deflected and falls short of a defender. 4th and 6 as they will punt it away
(Q2 8:21) Hood gets the handoff and picks up three. 3rd and 6
(Q2 8:21) Temple calls their second timeout of the half
(Q2 8:29) Walker scrambles and his pass to Deloatch is almost picked off. 2nd and 10
(Q2 9:02) Thomas punches a hole in the line and picks up the first.
(Q2 9:37) Thomas gets it again for a gain of 2. 3rd and 1 now
(Q2 10:19) Temple starts on the 30 yard line and on 1st and 10, Thomas finds a hole and picks up 7. 2nd and 3
(Q2 10:38) Ward Jr. scrambles and throws it down the field but incomplete. 4th and 7 as Houston now goes 3 and out
(Q2 10:43) Ward Jr. fires it to Allen but cannot haul it in. 3rd and 7
(Q2 11:08) On the 42, Webb is wrapped up for a gain of 3. 2nd and 7
(Q2 11:57) Walker gets it to Patton but is short of the 1st. 4th and 3 and another 3 and out for Temple
(Q2 12:40) Thomas runs it and is downed following a gain of 3. 3rd and 6
(Q2 13:23) Starting on the 18, Thomas takes the handoff but is stopped after a yard. 2nd and 9
(Q2 13:32) Ty Cummings convets on the 24 yard attempt and Houston is now up 10-0.
(Q2 13:36) Ward Jr. runs to the right and throws to Leday but is incomplete. 4th and 4 and the field goal unit is coming out
(Q2 14:01) Ward Jr. fires to Leday to inside the 10. 3rd and 4
(Q2 14:45) Webb is eaten up at the line for a gain of 1. 2nd and 9
(Q2 15:00) On the 26 yard line, Ward Jr. was ruled down shy of the 1st. Houston is still going for it on 4th and 1. Ward Jr. gets a big run to inside the 15 for the 1st down
The first quarter comes to a close and Houston is up 7-0. Temple has looked rattled early with two turnovers, including one inside Houston's redzone.
(Q1 0:01) Ward Jr. is tripped up but still gets the first down on the quarterback scramble.
(Q1 0:40) Webb is wrapped up behind the line for a loss of 1. 3rd and 4
(Q1 1:10) Leday brings in the catch for 7. 2nd and 3
(Q1 1:27) Houston starts near midfield and on 1st and 10, Ward Jr. with a quick pass to Dunbar for a a gain of 12. 1st and 10
(Q1 2:15) Walker hits Anderson but is short of the first by two yards. 3 and out here for the Owls and they will punt it away
(Q1 2:19) Walker's pass is off the hands of Anderson. 3rd and 10
(Q1 2:24) Temple starts with the ball on the six yard line following a great Houston bounce on the punt. On 1st and 10, Walker throws it away. 2nd and 10
(Q1 2:40) Ward Jr.'s pass is incomplete and Houston will be forced to punt the ball
(Q1 3:20) Ward Jr. is stopped for a loss of a yard. 3rd and 8
(Q1 3:34) Flag thrown for false start on Houston. 2nd and 7
(Q1 3:59) Wilson gains 8 yards on the rush for 2nd and 2
(Q1 4:32) Ward Jr. ruhses for the 1st down on the 45
(Q1 4:54) Ward Jr. gives a quick screen pass to Wilson for a gain of 8. 3rd and 2
(Q1 5:30) Ward Jr. keeps it but stumbles for no gain. 2nd and 10
(Q1 5:48) Houston starts on the 9 yard line and Ward Jr. fires it deep to Allen for a huge gain to the 36. 1st and 10
(Q1 5:59) Walker with the quick pass to Anderson but he fumbles it deep in Houston territory and the Cougars pick it up. 1st and 10
(Q1 6:21) Flag thrown for a false start against Temple. 5 yard penalty makes it 1st and 15
(Q1 6:58) Walker's pass is almost intercepted but Anderson hauls it down for another first down to inside the redzone
(Q1 7:28) Walker scrambles and finds Major downfield for a big gain. Now 1st and 10 on the 34
(Q1 8:09) A device malfunction caused the brief break. On 2nd and 10, Walker gets it to Shippen for a gain of 7. 3rd and 3
(Q1 8:32) The previous play is under further review.
(Q1 8:53) Thomas gets stop for a gain of only a yard. 2nd and 9
(Q1 9:16) Walker fires it to Robby Anderson for an 11 yard gain off a circus catch.
(Q1 9:59) Temple starts on the 29 yard line. On 1st and 10, Thomas runs to the outside and picks up a short gain. 2nd and 8
(Q1 10:05) Webb takes it on 3rd and goal and punches it in for the touchdown. PAT is good as Houston goes up 7-0 early off of P.J. Walker's interception
(Q1 10:20) Webb punches it again but short of the endzone
(Q1 10:46) Webb takes the handoff on the delay for a short gain
(Q1 11:02) On 4th and 1, Ward Jr. throws it quickly to the right for the 1st inside the 10. 1st and goal
(Q1 11:02) Temple calls a timeout, first of the half. 4th and 1 and Houston will go for it as they are in the redzone.
(Q1 11:20) Ward Jr. keeps it and is stopped just shy of the 1st. They go for it.
(Q1 11:54) Webb gets the handoff for a gain of 4. 3rd and 6
(Q1 11:58) Ward Jr.'s pass is batted down at the line to make it 2nd and 10
(Q1 12:19) Allen gets another reception for a 1st donw on the 25
(Q1 12:39) Ward Jr. fires to Chance Allen for a gain of 3. 2rd and 3
(Q1 13:00) Ward Jr. takes off and is stopped for a gain of 4. 2nd and 6
(Q1 13:10) Walker pressured and throws it away and it is picked off by Houston, who now has a 1st and 10 inside the 40
(Q1 13:48) Thomas gets it again for a gain of two. 2nd and 8
(Q1 14:25) Thomas takes the handoff, cuts to the right and gains 9. 1st and 10
(Q1 14:54) On 1st and 10 from the 18 yard line, Walker hits Deloatch for a gain of five. 2nd and 5
(12:07 PM ET) Temple will receive the opening kickoff.
(12:01 PM ET) Kickoff is projected now for 12:07 PM ET (11:07 AM CT).
(12:00 PM ET) Kickoff is coming in moments here. Both teams look amped up for this game, with an electric vibe from both sidelines. It will be interesting to see how these games play out. College Gameday's selections for this game are 3-1, in favor of Houston. Dallas Clark, former Iowa player and celebtrity picker, only one to side with Temple.
(11:45 AM ET) Temple will be wearing their white jerseys, white pants, and cherry helmets. Houston will wear their red jerseys, red pants, and white helmets.
(11:31 AM ET) With under half an hour until gametime, it will be interesting to see how both teams play in the first half vs. the second half. Houston has been known to get off to hot starts, but Temple has been dominant in the second half. This very could be a battle of the halves, so if Temple is down at the half, do not count them out.
(11:14 AM ET) Temple can breathe a little easier today as their star center Kyle Friend will be active for today's game after going down in the game against Notre Dame. Friend has held down the offensive line and created holes for the Owls' running backs.
(11:10 AM ET) Under one hour until kickoff! Both teams are on the field now warming up and getting in their final reps before the inaugural championship game.
(10:05 AM ET) Both Temple and Houston have arrived at TDECU Stadium with just under two hours until kickoff.
(9:37 AM ET) Good morning everybody! Kickoff is under three hours away down in Texas as both #22 Temple and #19 Houston are getting ready for the trip to the stadium.
Kickoff is projected for 12:00 PM ET (11:00 AM CT) at TDECU Stadium. Stay tuned throughout the entire duration of the game here at VAVEL USA.
This game has a lot riding on it for both teams. A win for Temple can give them their first ever 11 win season in school history. A win for Houston would give them 12 wins on the season, one short from their best record in school history, set in 2011. A win for either would secure a bid for a New Year's Six bowl game, as the winner would be the top team from a Group of 5 conference school. They would play in either the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day or the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve.
The key to the game is to see how Matt Rhule's Owls offense will do against Tom Herman's Cougars defense. Temple's offense will need to rely on P.J. Walker and the arsenal of running backs, led by Jahad Thomas, will need to be able to pounce on the Cougars' defense when the opportunity presents itself. Houston's offense against Temple's defense will be an interesting matchup, but they will square up well.
Houston's defense has been performing well all year, only allowing 381 yards per game and 21.1 points per game. The defense is led by linebacker Elandon Roberts and safety Trevon Stewart, both of who were elected to the first team all-conference team. Their defense has also been inconsistent this season, as they have allowed over 30 points four times this season but also held opponents to under 14 points three times.
Temple's offense has been strong all season and been able to put up points. The breakout performance of running back Jahad Thomas, recently elected to first team all-conference team, and an improved quarterback in P.J. Walker have contributed to their success. The Owls' offense has averaged 367.9 yards, 93rd in the country, and 32 points, 48th in the country. Thomas has rushed for 1,188 yards and 17 touchdowns while Walker has thrown for 2,450 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Houston's offense is very dominant and electric. Led by quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and running back Kenneth Farrow, the Cougars have averaged 499.3 yards per game, which ranked 15th in the nation. On the scoring end of the spectrum, Houston averages 42 points per game (tied for 7th in the nation). Ward Jr. has accumulated 3,395 total purpose yards and 33 touchdowns, 17 rushing and 16 passing. Farrow has been able to provide an offensive spark when Ward Jr. hands it off, contributing 949 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
Temple is a very defensive focused team. They rank 16th in the country in both yards allowed (328.2) and points allowed (18.8). Temple's defense is headlined by lineman Matt Ioannidis, Nate D. Smith, safety Alex Wells, and linebacker Tyler Matakevich, all of whom were selected for the all-conference first team. The four have combined for 230 tackles, 15 sacks, and seven interceptions.
Houston could not be stopped during the season, stringing together win after win. They had a close win over Louisville in the second week, only coming out on top by three points. Following their 5-0 start, they earned a spot in the AP Top 25, coming in at #24. From there, the Cougars could not be stopped. Wins over Tulane, UCF, Vanderbilt, and Cincinnati put Houston at 9-0 and #16 in the rankings. In their game against Houston, they lost their starting quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and went to backup Kyle Postma. Despite being down at the half by 13 at the half, Postma lead a huge, late game comeback to lead the Cougars to a 35-34 victory. Houston was now 10-0 but struggled against Connecticut and ended up losing 20-17 with Postma still at the helm. Their final game of the season against Navy had a berth for the conference championship game riding on it. Ward Jr. was healthy for the game and led the Cougars to victory in a shootout to be co-champions with the Midshipmen for the West Division title but Houston won the tie-breaker and would go to the conference championship.
Temple started off their season with a bang, knocking off Penn State for the first time in 74 years and sent the state of Pennsylvania into an uproar. The Owls continued their dominance in the coming weeks, starting off the season with a 7-0 record, the first time they have ever accomplished such a feat. Temple was ranked #21 going into their matchup against Notre Dame. The primetime matchup with national attention surrounding it was a close one that saw Temple lose their lead late. The Owls followed up with a win over SMU but lost to South Florida after the win and dropped to 8-2 on the year and out of the rankings. Temple then won their final two games over Memphis and Connecticut to secure the East Division title and a spot in the conference championship.
After a season filled of twists and turns in the conference, Temple and Houston prevailed in their divisions to meet in Texas for the inaugural conference championship game in the AAC.
Hello everybody and welcome to VAVEL USA's live coverage of the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. The East Division winners, the Temple Owls, travel to the Lone Star State to play the West Division winners, the Houston Cougars. I'm your host, Maxwell Rizer, and let's take a look at a preview of today's game.