(Saturday, November 21st)
Final Score: (24) Houston 55, Memphis 14
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Case Keenum threw for 405 yards with five touchdowns, as 24th-ranked Houston routed Memphis, 55-14, in Conference USA play at Robertson Stadium.
Keenum finished 29-of-39 passing before Cotton Turner came in for mop up duty and completed 13-of-16 tosses for 173 yards and a score for Houston (9-2, 5-2 C-USA), which regrouped after suffering a 37-32 loss to UCF in Orlando last weekend.
Charles Sims rushed for 90 yards on 15 carries with a pair of scores, while L.J. Castile pulled in two TD catches for the Cougars, who have won six of their last seven overall. Chaz Rodriguez had six grabs for 98 yards and a score, while Tim Monroe almost equaled those totals with seven receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. Patrick Edwards also got in on the action, catching four balls for 81 yards and a score.
"I thought we came out and had some intensity," Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "I don't know that a coach is ever completely satisfied with a game, but I thought that our guys responded well coming off of last week. I thought the preparation and our plan was good from all phases, and our guys played hard. We had the opportunity to play a bunch of people. I was pleased with how we took care of the ball offensively and got off the field defensively, and made some plays on special teams."
Curtis Steele supplied the bulk of the offense, rushing for 160 yards on 28 touches with two scores for Memphis (2-9, 1-6), which has now dropped five in a row, including last weekend's 31-21 setback to UAB.
"He's a great player," Memphis head coach Tommy West said about Keenum. "I knew coming out here today that we were wounded in the secondary and that will make it hard. I don't know what to say. To be honest our guys tried as hard as they could. Our secondary right now is just bad. I knew all week that this would be a bad match up."
Houston found the end zone on its opening drive of the game, going 51 yards on eight plays. Tyron Carrier gave the offense a short field to work with after returning the opening kickoff 40 yards. Keenum's seven-yard strike to Castile then capped the series and the route was on early.
After Memphis went three-and-out, Keenum connected on a 31-yard screen pass to Sims and two plays later hit Monroe for 27 more, taking it to the Tigers' 13- yard line. Sims then finished off the set with a 13-yard TD run.
Memphis' offense continued to sputter on its next try and the Cougars quickly went up 21-0 on a Keenum-to-Monroe nine-yard hookup that finished off a seven- play, 70-yard drive with just under seven minutes left in the opening quarter. The Tigers responded, though, when Steele went in for a two-yard TD.
Keenum's four-yard toss to Rodriguez lifted UH to a 28-7 lead at the 10:10 mark of the second. The Cougars continued to blow the game open as they put another seven on the board on their next possession when Keenum spotted Edwards for a 57-yard TD.
Steele's 25-yard scamper on the Tigers' next try made it 35-14 with 2:38 left in the half. Houston then tacked on another score on Sims' five-yard run to make it 42-14 at the break.
Houston continued to blow it open on its first two drives of the third quarter as Keenum hooked up with Castile for an 18-yard score, then Turner got in on the action, hitting Fendi Onobun for another score to stretch the lead to 55-14.
Both teams played to a scoreless fourth quarter.
Houston will end its regular-season schedule by hosting Rice next Saturday, while Memphis plays at Tulsa on Friday...Houston improved to 11-9 in the all- time series against Memphis, but the Tigers had won the previous three at Robertson Stadium coming into the contest.
11/21 19:39:16 ET