(Thursday, November 10th)
Final Score: (11) Houston 73, Tulane 17
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Charles Sims had 207 yards and two scores on just 10 carries as No. 11 Houston rolled to a 73-17 win over Tulane.
Case Keenum went 22-for-29 with 325 yards and all three of his touchdown passes went to Patrick Edwards, who finished the game with five catches for 129 yards for the Cougars (10-0, 6-0 C-USA), who have averaged 61.7 points in their six conference wins.
Edwards also had a punt return for a touchdown as did Damian Payne for Houston.
"It was a different game," said Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin. "They controlled the ball the first quarter, we had it one time, I think. We got behind in penalties. One time, I think we had four penalties and they didn't have any. If there's anything we can do better, I think in the last couple of weeks, we've had a rash of penalties. Our guys are playing hard. They've got energy, they like each other, they like how they're playing, they compliment each other, and I'm pretty happy with where we are right now ten games into the season."
Orleans Darkwa had 21 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns for the Green Wave (2-9, 1-6), who have lost their past eight games. Ryan Griffin went 19- for-43 with 137 yards and an interception in the loss.
The first quarter passed scoreless, but Houston got on the board just over a minute into the second on Bryce Beall's 11-yard touchdown run. The score was preceded by a 56-yard carry from Sims.
Tulane was held to a three-and-out and Edwards took the punt 70 yards to paydirt for a 14-0 lead.
Following an exchange of punts, Tulane got on the board as Darkwa followed his 68-yard run with a three-yard trot into the end zone to make it a 14-7 game.
"He made a great effort on third and short breaking the big play of the game, down 14-0," said Tulane head coach Mark Hutson. "They were able to catch him from behind. They have a lot of speed. He was able to finish and put us on the board. He's a competitor, seeing him in the locker room with tears in his eyes."
However, the Cougars responded quickly as Sims took a handoff through the middle, cut to the left and raced down the sideline on a 52-yard score with 4:46 left.
A three-and-out from the Green Wave saw Houston get the ball back and quickly put it in the end zone as Keenum threw a pass over the middle and Edwards caught it in the end zone from 23 yards out for a 28-7 lead with 2:39 to play in the second.
Tulane answered with a 10-play drive that took just under two minutes and was capped on a 42-yard field goal from Cairo Santos, but Sims followed that with a 72-yard score to give Houston a 35-10 lead heading into the break.
Houston started the second half with the ball and moved it 66 yards to get a 23-yard field goal from Matt Hogan.
Later in the third, a seven-play, 57-yard drive from Houston saw Keenum and Edwards hook up on an eight-yard score for a 45-10 lead with 7 1/2 minutes to play in the frame.
After holding Tulane to a three-and-out, the first play of Houston's next drive again saw Keenum and Edwards get together, this time on a 66-yard score for a 52-10 lead.
With Cotton Turner under center, the Cougars took a 59-10 lead as he hit Chance Blackmon on a 27-yard score with under three minutes to play in the third.
Darkwa's second TD of the game came just over two minutes into the fourth on a three-yard score.
Houston, though, followed with a 35-yard rushing score by Turner and Payne returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown to account for the final score.
Turner finished the game 8-for-11 with 118 yards...Houston hosts SMU next Saturday...Tulane plays at Rice next Saturday...Houston has won nine straight in the series and leads the series, 13-4...Houston totaled 735 yards of offense and held the ball for 35 minutes while Tulane managed 331 yards.
11/11 01:38:54 ET