The Cougars will be playing their first game under new head coach Major Applewhite when they take on San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium. Applewhite is moving from his offensive coordinator post to take over for departing head coach Tom Herman, who agreed to take over at Texas following the firing of Charlie Strong.

Game info

Houston (9-3) vs. San Diego State (10-3)

Dec. 17, 2016 

Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.

Buy tickets: Las Vegas Bowl

How to watch

Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC

Live stream: You can live stream the game here.

Players to watch

- Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. was not only a formidable passer this season — 3,328 yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions — but he also led the team with 518 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground.

- Aztecs running back Donnel Pumphrey is second in the nation with 2,018 rushing yards — 10 yards behind Texas running back D’Onta Foreman. The Longhorns are not playing in a bowl game.

Key Stats

- This is Houston’s fourth straight trip to bowl season; the Cougars are looking for their third bowl win in a row.

- Houston can clinch a 10-win season — its second in a row and ninth in program history — with a win.

- The Cougars rank in the top 25 nationally in passing yards (301.9) and points scored per game (37.5).

- The Cougars hold a 2-0 lead in the all-time matchup, with both meetings taking place in the 1970s.

- San Diego State boasted the No. 7 rushing attack in the nation this season with 273.3 yards per game.

- The Aztecs ranked in the top-30 in points scored (35.5) and points allowed (21) per game this season.

- San Diego State lost two of three games to end the season but capped it with a three-point win over Wyoming.

Injuries

- Cougars wide receiver Ra’Shaad Samples is questionable with a concussion.

- Houston wide receiver Linell Bonner is probable with a shoulder injury.