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(Saturday, October 19)
Final Score: BYU 47, Houston 46
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Taysom Hill threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 128 yards as he led the BYU Cougars over the Cougars of Houston, 47-46, in a non-conference shootout at Reliant Stadium.
Hill did throw three interceptions but carried the ball 34 times and completed 29-of-44 passes for BYU (5-2) which has won four in a row. Jamaal Williams rushed the ball 17 times for 83 yards and two touchdowns while Cody Hoffman recorded 156 yards receiving and a touchdown on seven receptions. Skyler Ridley added 90 yards and a score of his own on seven catches as well.
Houston (5-1) suffered its first lost of season. John O'Korn completed 29- of-45 passes for 363 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Deontay Greenberry caught 11 passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns while Daniel Spencer had 186 yards and a score on seven catches. Xavier Maxwell joined in on the fun, catching five passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. Greg Ward Jr. made some key plays and was 2-of-2 passing for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams lit up the scoreboard in the first half. After a 15-yard touchdown run from Williams and a 41-yard field goal from Justin Sorensen, BYU led 10-0 in the first five minutes. On the kickoff following that field goal, Houston's Demarcus Ayers returned the kick 95 yards for a touchdown to put Houston on the board.
BYU responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive which resulted in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Hill to Apo to put the squad up 17-7. On the following drive, Greg Ward Jr. and Maxwell connected for a 69-yard touchdown to cut Houston's deficit back to three. Houston's Derrick Mathews then intercepted a pass from Hill and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown to give Houston the its first lead at 21-17. Houston's edge on the scoreboard did not last long as BYU quickly drove down the field. Hill found Apo again, this time for an 18- yard touchdown. BYU led 24-21 at the end of the first quarter.
After a 29-yard field goal from Richie Leone and a six-yard touchdown pass from O'Korn to Greenberry, Houston led 31-24 early in the second quarter. With just under four minutes left in the first half, BYU's Williams took in a one- yard touchdown run to cap off a 10-play, 76-yard drive. Houston answered back with a 41-yard touchdown pass from O'Korn to Daniel Spencer with 1:31 left in the half. BYU managed to drive 73 yards down the field and set up a 20-yard field goal from Sorensen as time expired in the first half with Houston on top, 38-34.
After such a high-scoring first half, things slowed down in the second half. With just over a minute left in a nearly scoreless third quarter, Houston's Derrick Mathews sacked BYU's Hill for a seven yard loss resulting in a safety. BYU responded by putting together a nine-play, 97-yard drive which was capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Hill to Cody Hoffman despite defensive pass interference. BYU then led 41-40. Midway through the fourth quarter, O;Korn found Greenberry again, this time for a 10-yard touchdown. Up by five, Houston attempted a two-point conversion but O'Korn's pass fell incomplete. Houston led 46-41 with just over five minutes left in the game.
With 1:08 remaining, Hill connected with Skyler Ridley for an 11-yard touchdown pass to put BYU back on top. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, BYU led 47-46. On the first play of Houston's following drive, O;Korn was intercepted Alani Fua. BYU was able to run the rest of the clock out as Houston suffered its heartbreaking, first loss of the season.
Both teams combined for 1,164 yards of total offense. BYU recorded 417 yards through the air and 264 yards on the ground while Houston had 435 yards passing but just 48 yards rushing.
10/19 21:25:46 ET
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