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Houston head coach Major Applewhite’s future in doubt after devastating bowl loss

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The Cougars finished a second straight five-loss season with one of the worst postseason showings ever.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston head coach Major Applewhite’s future with the Cougars is in doubt after UH’s record book-worthy, 70-14 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl capped an 8-5 season, sources confirmed to SB Nation.

The game tied the FBS records for points allowed in a bowl game and margin of victory in a bowl.

Upon Applewhite’s hiring, both UH Board of Regents chairman Tilman Fertita and president Renu Khator famously stated, “We’ll fire coaches at 8-4.”

Since then, the former Texas assistant is 15-10 in two full seasons at Houston, plus a loss as interim while replacing Tom Herman in the preceding year.

Additionally, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is expected to leave for Florida State, per multiple sources.

The Cougars fired defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio in November, and a replacement has not been named.

Houston will also enter 2019 without potential No. 1 draft pick Ed Oliver, the highest-rated signee in program history. Oliver and Applewhite had a brief public spat in November amid an injury for the star defensive tackle.

UPDATE: Following the initial publication of this story, the University of Houston issued a statement Saturday night: “Within the last several weeks, we have shown our commitment to our football program under Major with salary increases to specific positions in an attempt to retain his staff for the future,” A.D. Chris Pezman said.