UH to focus on preparing for bowl game, recruiting

HOUSTON – The University of Houston football program is moving forward after the departure of Tom Herman to the University of Texas.

During a Tuesday afternoon news conference, UH interim head coach Todd Orlando met with the media for the first time.

Orlando made it clear that he and offensive coordinator Major Applewhite will interview for the job.

Orlando said the players are focused on putting in the work and preparing for a bowl game.

“Our purpose in the next few weeks is completely on our seniors. We will work our tails off and get them a win,” Orlando said.

They will find out their destination on Sunday.

While the process plays out at UH, recruiting remains a priority as well for Orlando and his staff. During times like this, players' commitments could waver during a coaching change.

“We sat down as a staff, and I told the staff 'You are going to see every one of our commitments.' There isn’t anybody more important than those kids.  We are business as usual,“ Orlando said.

One thing Orlando made clear is that he will run the program over the next few weeks the best way he knows how.

“I’m not going to wear a grill and dance around, I’m going to be me,” Orlando said. “The things put in place here, there’s testimony to that. You win 22 games and only lose four there is a reason for that. There is a plan in place and we can be successful. All I want to do is give them every opportunity to succeed. Five years from now I want them to look back and know that guy (Orlando) gave us everything he had.”

The Cougars will continue to meet and train and return to the practice field on Thursday through Saturday.  Orlando said they will break on Sunday and Monday to learn their bowl plans and begin game planning for their opponent.

Early indications are UH could land in the Birmingham Bowl against an SEC team or possibly the Miami Beach Bowl against a MAC opponent.

“This two-year journey has been incredible.  It’s our obligation to put the pedal down and give it all to the kids. This brand (UH), you want to make it better,” Orlando said.