HOUSTON -- The No. 6 Houston Cougars were without two starting linebackers in their 42-14 win over UConn on Thursday at TDECU Stadium because of an altercation between the two the day before the game.
Houston coach Tom Herman said after Thursday's game that Cougars starting middle linebacker Matthew Adams was benched after a "scuffle" between he and starting outside linebacker Tyus Bowser that resulted in an injury to Bowser that will keep him out of the lineup in the coming weeks.
"Yesterday, during our weekly tradition of family Fridays, where we go out on the field and play some silly games just to loosen the thing up, dodge ball, whiffle ball, two-hand touch football, the two got over competitive and things briefly got out of hand during one of the games and resulted in a scuffle between Tyus and Matt, two brothers," Herman said. "It was a freak accident and the result of the scuffle was a broken bone for Tyus. It will keep him out of the lineup for a few weeks. Our culture is one of love and the two are very close, remain very close and definitely consider [each other] brothers.
"They're both very remorseful for what happened in yesterday's incident. Matt was held out of tonight's game as a result, but he will return next week."
Herman said he will learn more about Bowser's injury in the coming days.
Adams, a junior who is first-year full-time starter, was third on the team in tackles entering Thursday's game with 24. He has four tackles for loss, a sack and two forced fumbles and has generally played well since stepping into his new role.
Bowser, a senior, was second on the team in sacks with 3.5 before Thursday's game. He has five tackles for loss, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and 18 tackles. Prior to Thursday night, Bowser hadn't missed a game in his Houston career and started 17 of the last 18 dating back to the start of the 2015 season. Sophomore Emeke Egbule started in Bowser's place on Thursday night and will fill that role in Bowser's absence; junior D'Juan Hines started in Adams' place.
The Cougars were also without starting running back Duke Catalon on Thursday after he was diagnosed with a concussion following Houston's win over Texas State on Sept. 24
Houston (5-0) travels to Navy (3-0) on Oct. 8.