uh report Tune prepared to burn redshirt to fill void
With star quarterback D’Eriq King finished for the season with a knee injury, University of Houston coach Major Applewhite is looking at several options for Friday’s game against Memphis.
All indications point to true freshman Clayton Tune making his first career start in a game that will decide the American Athletic Conference West Division winner.
Other options, however, may require some roster management.
Tune has played in three games this season, one shy of the new NCAA rule that allows a player to preserve a redshirt season if he does not play in more than four games. At Monday’s news conference, Applewhite said Tune is on board to play as much as needed.
“He’s ready to play and help his team earn an opportunity to play for a conference championship,” Applewhite said. “That’s where his mindset is, not on this, that or redshirt. It’s on what do we have to do to beat Memphis.”
In three appearances this season, Tune has thrown for 309 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
The backup spot is somewhat more complicated. Quinten Dormady, a graduate transfer from Tennessee, has played in only two games. Dormady has indicated to the coaching staff that he would like to explore his options to transfer to another school in the offseason.
With a spot in the AAC championship game and bowl, UH has the potential to play in at least three more games this season.
Another option, Applewhite said, is to have a player line up in the backfield and take a direct snap in some packages. Bryson Smith, a former high school quarterback who is playing receiver this season, would be among the leading candidates to fill the role.
Smith is expected to play Friday after being held out of the second half against Tulane with an undisclosed injury.
DE Turner to miss
rest of the season
Sophomore defensive end Payton Turner suffered a foot injury during last week’s win over Tulane and will miss the remainder of the season.
Turner becomes the third member of the UH defensive line to suffer a season-ending injury this season, joining Jerard Carter (foot) and Isaiah Chambers (knee). All-America defensive tackle Ed Oliver has missed four games with a bruised right knee.
In all, UH has six players out with season-ending injuries.
There is apparently no love lost when it comes to how Memphis feels about its rivalry with the University of Houston.
“I hate them. Ain’t nothing real coming out of H-Town,” senior center Drew Kyser told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
UH and Memphis will meet Friday at the Liberty Bowl with the American Athletic Conference West Division title at stake.
“I don’t think they’re anything special. I think it’s a bunch of front-running guys who think that they’re the best to ever play football,” senior left tackle Trevon Tate, who played at North Shore, told the newspaper. “That’s what everybody thinks until they play Memphis.”
The last three meetings between the schools have come down to the wire, with the winning score in the final 90 seconds. The Tigers have won two of the meetings, including 42-38 last season in Houston.
King still itching
to play again
Coach Major Applewhite said junior quarterback D’Eriq King was naturally “down a little bit” after suffering a season-ending knee injury against Tulane.
King was having a record-breaking season with a nation-best 50 touchdowns that set the American Athletic Conference single-season record.
“He was talking about trying to play, but I said to him he couldn’t,” Applewhite said. “It’s really hard and sad to read that kind of text message. You can tell it’s just in him, boiling to play, but I know he’s very tough-minded.”
There is no timetable on the injury, which will require surgery.
“You hate to see that happen. He’s going to bounce back from it,” Applewhite said. “He’ll be better than ever.”