December 18, 2016 - 12:53 am
Houston wide receiver Chance Allen’s college career ended earlier than expected, as the senior was suspended for the Las Vegas Bowl against San Diego State for missing curfew.
Allen, a senior who started his college career at Oregon, led the Cougars with six touchdown receptions this season. He ranks second on the team with 56 receptions for 815 yards.
Houston’s sputtering offense could have used Allen in the lineup, as the team struggled to move the ball in a 34-10 loss Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
“He made a mistake, he went past curfew,” Houston coach Major Applewhite said. “It was a clearly stated rule, it’s a standard that we have. Everybody understood it. Does it make him a bad person? Absolutely not.”
The receiver previously had addressed how he would handle being in Las Vegas after practice Wednesday.
“Stay out of trouble, man. That’s the big thing, being in a big city,” Allen said. “As a senior leader on the team, just be the example.”
Allen is not the first player to break rules before playing in Las Vegas. Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence broke team rules and was sent home in 2012 before the Broncos defeated Washington 28-26.
The previous year, Arizona State defensive end Junior Onyeali was suspended for the game by outgoing coach Dennis Erickson and did not travel to Las Vegas.
Aztecs adhere to curfew
San Diego State coach Rocky Long said some players complained about his 11 p.m. curfew in Las Vegas, but none of them missed it.
“There’s nothing good that happens after midnight, that’s what my father used to say,” Long said. “And they don’t get their per diem unless they show up for curfew, so they were all there because they love money.
“But I thought they did a nice job. They had a good time, they had fun, especially with each other. But our kids also stayed pretty focused on what the situation was with the game.”
San Diego State’s successful run
The Aztecs improved to 11-3, marking the fourth time in program history the team has won at least 11 games. San Diego State has won 11 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in the program’s 94-year history.
The Aztecs also have won bowl games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1966 and 1967. The team finished this year with single-season records for rushing yards (3,680), rushing touchdowns (34), rushing yards per carry (5.8), total touchdowns (62) and points (493).
Aztecs duo make history
With a second-quarter carry, San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny went over 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
Penny finished with 10 carries for only 23 yards, but it was enough to help him reach 1,018 for the season and letting San Diego State achieve an NCAA first. The Aztecs are the only team to have a 2,000-yard rusher (Donnel Pumphrey) and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same season.
Baron gets Aztecs on scoreboard
San Diego State kicker John Baron II made both of his field-goal attempts, giving him a school-record 21 made kicks this season. Baron, who made kicks from 23 and 28 yards in the first half, went 21 of 23 for the season. He has made 19 consecutive field goals from less than 50 yards.
Applewhite starts career 0-1
Applewhite became the second coach in Houston history to take over the team for its bowl game and lose.
Applewhite, named the full-time head coach Dec. 9 after Tom Herman left for Texas, shares the honor with Chris Thurmond, who was Houston’s interim head coach for the 2007 Texas Bowl after the departure of Art Briles.
Coin toss goes ‘Beast Mode’
Former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch performed the pregame coin toss, a day after he was inducted into the Las Vegas Bowl Hall of Fame.
Lynch, who played at California, showed off his trademark hard running style in the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl, rushing for 194 yards and three touchdowns against Brigham Young.
San Diego State won the toss when Lynch’s flip came up heads, and the Aztecs elected to receive. In contrast to his surly image in his playing days, Lynch couldn’t have been more friendly with fans, graciously posing for countless pictures.
Houston blows lead
San Diego State snapped Houston’s 56-game winning streak when it had a lead of at least 10 points. The Cougars’ streak goes back to 2009 against Central Florida.
Houston led 10-0 after Greg Ward Jr.’s 2-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. It was his 39th career rushing touchdown, tying a program record with Bryce Beall.