All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver got into a heated discussion with Houston Cougars head coach Major Applewhite just before halftime of the Cougars’ game against Tulane on Thursday night.
Major Applewhite approached Ed Oliver, who has missed four consecutive games with an injured knee, on the Houston sideline before halftime and removed the lineman’s jacket off of his shoulder. Oliver could then be seen shouting at Applewhite as the team walked toward its locker room at halftime.
ESPN’s Laura Rutledge reported that Major Applewhitee confirmed the dispute was about Oliver wearing a long, black jacket on the sideline. Applewhite told Ed Oliver, who is in street clothes while inactive for the game, that the jackets were reserved for active players only.
Oliver was restrained by Houston director of sports performance Rod Grace while shouting at Major Applewhite on the way to the tunnel.
Ed Oliver, who last season became the first underclassman to win the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman, is widely considered to be a potential top-five pick in next spring’s NFL draft.
Are you kidding me?
Major Applewhite takes a coat off Ed Oliver that's only for players suited up in uniform.
Oliver hasn't come out the locker room for the 2nd half. pic.twitter.com/MOoHO391c3
— Aslan Hajivandi (@AslanHodges) November 16, 2018
He has 51 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss this season, but recently fell from No. 2 overall to No. 7 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest Big Board after missing a month of action. Oliver suffered a knee contusion against Navy on Oct. 20 and has not played since.
On Wednesday, Oliver posted a cryptic tweet on Twitter that read: “I gave all I had so there’d be nuthing to lose.” That led to some speculation that he had decided not to play again this season for the Houston Cougars.
I gave all I had so there’d be nuthing to lose pic.twitter.com/Q8Vei2ZvGS
— Ed Oliver (@Edoliver_11) November 14, 2018
But Ed Oliver told ESPN’s Rutledge that wasn’t his intention. Instead, he said he wrote it so that in the event he can’t return, people would know how much he gave to the team.
Meanwhile, Houston Cougars lost quarterback D’Eriq King to a knee injury in the second quarter of the Cougars’ game against Tulane.
King, the FBS leader in touchdowns responsible for going into Thursday night, suffered the non-contact injury late in the second quarter. After handing the ball off, King hopped and grabbed his right leg as he fell to the turf. He was carted off the field before the half ended.
The junior quarterback was responsible for 48 touchdowns prior to Thursday’s game, nine more than the No. 2 player at that position, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. He was 11-of-15 passing for 82 yards and a touchdown and ran for 82 yards an a touchdown before exiting the game, giving him 50 touchdowns responsible for this season, an American Athletic Conference record.
True freshman Clayton Tune entered the game in relief of King.