CFB notebook: Houston's Oliver apologizes for sideline spat

By The Sports Xchange
A Houston Cougars cheerleader reacts during the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against the Florida State Seminoles at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on December 31, 2015. File photo by Tami Chappell/UPI
A Houston Cougars cheerleader reacts during the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against the Florida State Seminoles at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on December 31, 2015. File photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo

The Houston Cougars are trying to move forward from a highly publicized sideline shouting match between All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver and coach Major Applewhite.

Oliver had to be restrained from going after Applewhite right before halftime of Thursday's win over Tulane, apparently enraged when he was told to remove his cold-weather coat. Oliver was inactive for the fourth straight game because of a knee injury and, per a team rule, only uniformed players are allowed to wear coats on the sideline.


Oliver, the reigning Outland Trophy winner as the nation's best interior lineman and a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, on Friday released a statement through the school apologizing for his actions.

"Last night is not who I am," Oliver said. "I'm very passionate about the game of football and last night there was a misunderstanding. I was caught in an emotional moment. I have the utmost respect for Coach Applewhite and I appreciate the support of Coach Applewhite and my teammates during this time.


"I love my brothers, my team and my city and I'm looking forward to moving forward with them together. Go Coogs!"

--Houston will be without starting quarterback D'Eriq King for the rest of the season.

King suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in Thursday's 48-17 drubbing of Tulane. The injury occurred on a handoff in the second quarter.

King was in the midst of a superb season for the Cougars, who are sitting atop the American Athletic Conference West Division with an 8-3 overall record and 5-2 mark in league play.

The dual-threat junior amassed an FBS-leading 50 touchdowns in 11 games, throwing for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for 674 yards and six scores. King had only six interceptions.

--Former Boise State running back Jack Fields was shot and killed Thursday night during an incident in which he allegedly attacked a sheriff's deputy in Augusta, Ga.

Fields was shot at least once and died as a result of the injuries after attacking the deputy and stabbing him multiple times, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

According to a statement released by the GBI, the Richmond County's Sheriff's Office was summoned to a residence Inn in Augusta "regarding a trouble with subject call" just after 8 p.m. Thursday night.


"From everything that I have seen, it was totally justifiable," Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the Augusta Chronicle. "Again, I don't need to make that kind of determination. My only concern is if my deputy is going to be OK, going to recover."

Fields played four seasons (2012-15) at Boise State. He rushed for 336 yards and one touchdown on 109 carries.

-- Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook missed his second straight game Saturday against Big Ten rival Purdue.

Hornibrook also sat out last week's loss to Penn State as he continues to deal with concussion-like symptoms that also caused him to miss a game versus Northwestern on Oct. 27.

Although Hornibrook returned the following week against Rutgers, he struggled before exiting the game due to concerns about his head injury.

Sophomore Jack Coan made his third start of the season and led Wisconsin to a 47-44 victory over Purdue in three overtimes, completing 16 of 24 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns.

Hornibrook has dealt with concussion issues in the past, missing the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game against Penn State because of a concussion. He also was limited in the Cotton Bowl against Western Michigan that same year after suffering a concussion in the regular-season finale.


In eight games this season, Hornibrook has 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had 21 scoring passes and 15 picks in 13 games in 2017.

Latest Headlines