(Saturday, September 17th)
Final Score: Houston 35, Louisiana Tech 34
Ruston, LA (Sports Network) - The biggest comeback in Houston history was capped by a 32-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to Patrick Edwards with just 1:36 remaining as the Cougars captured a thrilling 35-34 win over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in a non-conference matchup at Aillet Stadium.
Trailing by a score of 34-7 with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Cougars (3-0) put their faith in Keenum who led the team all the way back and finished the night 25-of-40 for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Edwards turned three receptions into 81 yards and a pair of scores, while Bryce Beall took some of the pressure off Keenum with 63 yards and two TDs on the ground.
The Bulldogs (1-2) were led by Ray Holley and Lennon Creer who combined for 161 yards and three touchdowns on the ground for the hosts as they lost for the second time in three tries this season. Quarterback Nick Isham connected on 20-of-31 passes for 199 yards and a score, but was also sacked two times and intercepted twice in the difficult setback.
LaTech moved out to a 10-0 lead in the first half thanks to a one-yard TD run by Creer and a 30-yard field goal from kicker Matt Nelson.
Midway through the second quarter the Houston offense came alive with a 54- yard scoring strike between Keenum and Michael Hayes, but after that the Bulldogs dominated until the Cougars got their wake-up call.
Tech added another 10 points to their scoring line before the end of the half, thanks to a two-yard TD run by Holley and a 47-yard field goal by Nelson, making the score 20-7 at the break.
The Bulldogs continued to pile on in the third quarter with a 16-yard TD pass from Isham to Quinton Patton and a seven-yard TD run by Holley, putting the hosts ahead by what appeared to be an insurmountable 27-point advantage.
More than up to the challenge, Keenum struck quickly after that final score by LaTech, capping a three-play, 80-yard drive with a 50-yard TD pass to Edwards, eating up a mere 44 seconds on the clock late in the third frame.
In the fourth quarter Beall went to work with touchdown runs of two and four yards, cutting the deficit to 34-28 with 7:25 remaining in regulation before Keenum completed the comeback bid with a six-play, 84-yard drive that required just 1:10 to run off the clock.
With his three touchdowns passes on the night, Keenum is now tied for fourth on the all-time NCAA list with 117, passing Louisiana Tech's Tim Rattay (116) ironically enough, and matching the production of former Hawaii gunslinger Timmy Chang. Keenum also now has 15,596 yards of total offense for his career, just behind Texas Tech's Graham Harrell (15,599) who is third all-time in NCAA history.
Previously, the largest successful comeback for the Cougars was 19 points as they trailed UTEP by a score of 28-9 in a 2008 meeting before pulling off a 42-37 triumph.
09/18 00:15:45 ET