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Houston ranked after win over South Florida

The Cougars have not been ranked since former head coach Tom Herman was with the team in 2016. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

After Houston’s big win against then-undefeated No. 21 South Florida Saturday, Houston is ranked No. 17 in the Coaches and AP Poll.

It is the first time the team has been ranked under head coach Major Applewhite and the first time since 2016 when the team was ranked No. 18 by the AP and No. 21 by the Coaches in week 13.

“Obviously (being ranked) helps everybody to see these guys are being rewarded. In terms of a football team, the goals we want and what goals we’re chasing after, it doesn’t help,” Applewhite said after the game against South Florida.

Junior quarterback D’Eriq King, who had a career-high of 551 yards against South Florida, echoed the sentiment. King scored seven touchdowns in the game.

The defense was down junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who had a knee contusion, but the Cougars were able to show they could keep up with a strong offense, even without Oliver.

It was Houston’s second major win of the season along with an early season win versus PAC-12’s Arizona.

“They’re not going to stop playing college football for the rest of the season. There’s still a lot to go through. It shows the recruits what type of ball we can play,” Applewhite said. “Being ranked is really just a notoriety deal, but our players aren’t buying into that, believe me. They know we’ve got a lot of meat left on the bone.”

Houston has four games left: on the road against SMU, at home versus Temple, at home versus Tulane and on the road at Memphis.

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