(Saturday, November 15th)
Final Score: Houston 70, (25) Tulsa 30
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Case Keenum threw for a career-high six touchdowns to lead the Houston Cougars in a 70-30 rout of No. 25 Tulsa.
Keenum threw for 402 yards on 24-of-37 passing and also rushed for 43 yards and another score for the Cougars (6-4, 5-1 Conference USA), who have won two in a row and five of six overall. Andre Kohn gained 25 yards on four carries with a score.
Tyron Carrier had six grabs for 127 yards and a pair of scores and four kickoff returns for 142 yards with a score for Houston, which plays Texas-El Paso on November 22 and closes out the regular season on November 29 at Rice. Mark Hafner gained 93 yards on eight catches with a couple of touchdowns. L.J. Castile and Bryce Beall both had TD catches. Loyce Means had three picks defensively.
"We knew coming in we were talented and it showed tonight; we just kept running on all cylinders tonight," said Keenum. "Tulsa is a heck of a team and they've done a lot of impressive things this year. We had to keep pounding on them and it paid off."
David Johnson threw for 271 yards, four touchdowns and a pick on an 18-of-29 day for the Golden Hurricane (8-2, 5-1), who have lost two straight since an 8-0 start. Charles Clay, Slick Shelley and Brennan Marion each had a touchdown grab in the loss. Tulsa hosts Tulane on November 22 and plays at Marshall the following week to close out the regular season.
"We had mistakes here and mistakes there," said Tulsa coach Todd Graham. "We just couldn't get it together. It's the worst game we've played all year, but you have to give them (Houston) credit. They played a really, great game."
Means' interception on Tulsa's first drive set up a five-play, 36-yard drive that resulted in a four-yard TD pass from Keenum to Carrier with 10:44 left in the first.
Tulsa then went for it on 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line, but Johnson's pass was incomplete.
Late in the first, Keenum threw another four-yard score, this time to Hafner, for a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Jarod Tracy connected on a 35-yard field goal for Tulsa, but Keenum responded with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Beall on the ensuing Houston possession. The score made it 21-3 with nine minutes left before the break.
Both teams punted on their next possessions and Tulsa started on its own 33. Courtney Tennial's 28-yard run highlighted the drive and Johnson hit Clay on a slant for a 30-yard TD to make it 21-10 with five minutes left before the half.
Houston scored on its next two possessions, the first a 66-yard bomb from Keenum to Carrier, and then a 36-yard TD pass to Castile with 1:21 left, which made it 35-10.
Johnson hit Jacob Collums for a seven-yard score with just 22 seconds left before the half to pull within 35-17. However, Carrier returned the following kickoff 93 yards for a score with nine ticks showing on the clock to make it 42-17 at the intermission.
Houston took the opening drive of the second half 86 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 13-yard TD pass from Keenum to Hafner. The score made it 49-17.
Tulsa answered with a 74-yard, four-play drive highlighted by a 35-yard touchdown reception by Shelley, making it a 25-point game with 10 minutes showing on the clock.
Kohn's 13-yard TD run increased the deficit to 56-24 midway through the third and, on Tulsa's next drive, Means intercepted Johnson and ran it back 69 yards for a 63-24 difference.
Johnson threw up a desperation heave late in the third, and Marion hauled in the 48-yard score. The two-point conversion was no good, as the scoreboard read 63-30, which held up until the fourth.
Keenum ran in a six-yard score 56 seconds into the fourth to give the Cougars a 70-30 lead, which accounted for the final margin.
The Cougars outgained the Golden Hurricane 641-501, and had more first downs, 32-27...Despite the difference in score, the time of possession was close, Houston had the ball for 30:15 and Tulsa 29:45...Houston has a slight 18-16 edge in the all-time series with Tulsa.
11/16 03:12:29 ET