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Fort Worth, TX ( - A cat fight ensues at the Armed Forces Bowl on Friday, as the Houston Cougars stay close to home to challenge the Pittsburgh Panthers at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The Cougars, who are appearing in the postseason for the second year in a row, finished in a tie for fourth place in the American Athletic Conference standings with a mark of 5-3. The team split four non-league bouts along the way as well, and while the two victories versus Grambling State and UNLV were certainly lopsided, they were far from impressive. Even though the Cougars made it to a bowl, head coach Tony Levine was still relieved of his duties on Dec. 8 after three years at the helm. After naming David Gibbs as the interim head coach, Houston brought in Tom Herman, the 2014 Frank Broyles Award winner as Ohio States Offensive Coordinator, to lead the team moving forward. This is a tremendous opportunity for my family and I to come back to Houston and lead one of the top programs in the country, said Herman who has spent more than a decade of his career coaching in the state of Texas. I am looking forward to working with one of the top athletic directors in the country as well as Chancellor Khator in a partnership that will make the city of Houston and the great state of Texas proud. Meanwhile, the Panthers were lucky to break even through 12 games in the ACC. The squad ripped off three straight victories to open the 2014 campaign, but then won just once over the next seven outings before registering back-to-back triumphs over Syracuse and Miami in closing out the regular season. Despite the mediocre showing, Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst was courted by Wisconsin and took over the Badgers on Dec. 17 following the departure of Gary Andersen for Oregon State. With Chryst out of the picture, the Panthers are now under the direction of former Michigan State assistant Pat Narduzzi. Our goal was not only to find the best football coach but also a person who would uphold the values and mission of the University of Pittsburgh. In Pat Narduzzi we have found that person, said Pitts Acting Athletic Director Dr. Randy Juhl when introducing Narduzzi on Dec. 26. The Panthers began their bowl journey back in 1928 with a 7-6 loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Overall, the program sports a 13-17 record after winning the 2013 Little Caesars Bowl versus Bowling Green, 30-27. As for the Cougars, they own a 9-12-1 mark in bowl games, but have won only twice in the last 12 tests dating back to 1981. Last year the program, which split two appearances in the Armed Forces Bowl in 2008 and 2009 against Air Force, bowed to Vanderbilt, 41-24. This is just the third all-time meeting between these two programs, with each having recorded a victory previously. The most recent clash took place in Texas back in 1997, with the visitors claiming a 35-24 triumph. For Houston, the passing attack was average at best this season as Greg Ward Jr. and John OKorn handled the majority of the snaps, combining for 15 touchdowns and just as many interceptions, as the Cougars generated 226.6 ypg through the air. Ward managed to connect on 67.8 percent of his attempts and was in the lineup more often than not, yet the team still struggled in that department. Deontay Greenberry, a starter in all 12 games, was easily the most productive receiver as he caught 68 passes, more than twice as many as his closest teammate, and turned them into 756 yards and four TDs, the same number of scores tallied by Markeith Ambles with his 29 receptions. On the ground, Kenneth Farrow churned out a team-best 934 yards and scored 12 times as he averaged almost six yards per carry. The team as a whole recorded 26 rushing TDs as it helped generate 29.3 ppg, ranking the Cougars 59th nationally. The defense was a much bigger story for Houston, ranking 11th in the country with only 19.5 ppg allowed and 19th in total defense with 334.6 ypg surrendered. Leading the charge for the squad was Efrem Oliphant with a staggering 130 tackles, of which 8.5 were for a loss and 3.5 were listed as sacks. A bit further down the chart was Adrian McDonald (66 tackles) with his five interceptions, three forced fumbles and three recoveries as the Cougars forced a total of 30 turnovers in order to finish on the plus side of the ledger. The offense for the Panthers started off well enough with a 62-0 romp over FCS foe Delaware in the season opener, followed by a combined 72 points versus Boston College and FIU on the road. As a result, Pittsburgh ranks 46th nationally with 31.7 ppg, thanks mostly to the efforts running back James Conner who produced not only 1,675 yards on 277 carries, but also landed in the end zone a staggering 24 times as he averaged six yards per attempt. The third Pittsburgh running back to be named a First-Team All-American over the last half-century, Conner was also tabbed as the ACCs Offensive Player of the Year and the leagues overall Player of the Year. Im incredibly honored that the American Football Coaches Association would select me for this tremendous recognition, Conner said. Again, this gives me the opportunity to thank my own coaches and teammates. This honor is as much theirs as it is mine. I love Pitt, I love my team and Im really excited about what we can achieve moving forward. The sky is the limit for this program and we?re going to work hard every day to make our university proud. Conner buoyed a rushing attack that generated 251.3 ypg and registered 32 TDs in an effort to take some of the pressure off quarterback Chad Voytik, who completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 2,011 yards and 15 scores, against seven interceptions. While Conner was carrying the load coming out of the backfield, Tyler Boyd made a name for himself further down the field as a receiver with 69 catches, 51 more than his closest teammate, resulting in 1,149 yards and eight TDs. Boyd also handled kickoff and punt returns, averaging 28.7 yards per kickoff return on 13 opportunities. Like Houston, the Panthers also dialed up the pressure on defense as they limited foes to only 349.3 ypg (26th nationally) and permitted just 192.7 ypg through the air (19th). Anthony Gonzalez was the leading tackler with 74 stops, but making a significant impact on only 13 total tackles was Rori Blair with a team-high four sacks. Keith Mumphery Texans Jersey . Ryan Callahan trade talks caught a lot of people off guard. Details are now emerging about why the Rangers would consider such a move. Darren Dreger: He wants a lot of money. Its been widely reported that Callahan is looking for a seven-year term around $6 million per year. That is not accurate. Im told that it is more than $6. Tom Savage Texans Jersey . At this rate, the Flyers captain is set to be remembered more for a fantastic finish. . - Ronda Rousey realizes shes finishing up one of the biggest years for any fighter in the young history of mixed martial arts at UFC 168, and the UFCs bantamweight champion intends to go out on top. Vince Wilfork Texans Jersey . -- Mississippis Andrew Ritter said his game-winning, 41-yard field goal felt good off his foot. J.J. Watt Texans Jersey . -- A lawyer for the fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez asked a judge Friday to throw out perjury charges, saying Shayanna Jenkins did not wilfully lie as she was bombarded with 1,630 questions over two days before a grand jury.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was suspended for the season opener against Tennessee on Friday for violating the NFLs substance-abuse policy. Bowe was pulled over for speeding in a Kansas City suburb on Nov. 10, and was arrested after police found a black bag containing his wallet, drivers license and two container of suspected marijuana. He later pleaded guilty to amended charges of defective equipment and littering, and his attorney said there was no admission of guilt for the marijuana charge, which was dismissed. Bowe, who signed a $56 million, five-year deal last off-season, issued a statement through the NFL Players Association shortly after the suspension was announced. "I made an error in judgment. I take responsibility for my mistake and it will not happen again," he said. "I will be supporting my teammates in Week 1, and I cannot wait to get back on the field to help us win in Week 2 and beyond as we work toward our goal of winning the Super Bowl." The one-game suspension is in line with punishments that have been handed down by the league in similar cases. Bowe will still be eligible to participate in preseason practices and games. The loss of Bowe, even for one game, is significant for the Chiefs, who have struggled to find reliable wide receivers for years. They have several young players trying to earn a job in training camp, but Donnie Avery provides the only other veteran presence in the entire corps. "We are disappointed in the situation and will miss him on the field," the Chiefs said in a statement, "but we support the leagues decision. The club will have no further comment." This isnt the first time that the 30-year-oldd Bowe has proven to be a distraction.dddddddddddd He was suspended four games in 2009 for violating the NFLs policy on performance-enhancing drugs after taking what his agent called an unapproved weight-loss supplement. He also made questionable comments to a magazine a few years ago about womanizing that allegedly occurred at team hotels, and then misstated the name of Chiefs ownership family in his apology. Bowe struggled to adjust to new coach Andy Reids offence last season, catching just 57 passes for 673 yards and five touchdowns. But he showed up to training camp in better shape this fall, and Reid has expressed confidence that his top wide receiver will be able to bounce back. Those efforts have been hampered by a recurring injury to one of his fingers. Bowe caught just one pass for 10 yards in the Chiefs preseason opener against Cincinnati. "His finger is shot. Its been thrown out of place about 15 times," Reid said, "so now hes not catching the ball but hes getting his work done. You can practice with that kind of thing." Bowe is second in franchise history with 472 receptions, and last season he became the fastest to surpass 6,000 yards receiving for his career. He capped the year by catching eight passes for a franchise-record 150 yards in the Chiefs wild-card loss to Indianapolis. ""Hes in the best shape hes been in," Chiefs wide receivers coach David Culley said this week. "I know from last year this is completely different. When he came back from the off-season, he was in great shape. At 30, thats a mindset kind of thing. There are old 30s and there are young 30s -- which do you want to be? Right now, when he came back, he came back as a young 30." Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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