Houston Tops UCLA in Season Opener, 38-34
Sept. 3, 2011
HOUSTON - Case Keenum threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns and Tyron Carrier had 10 catches for 138 yards to lead the University of Houston past UCLA, 38-34, Saturday afternoon in the season opener at Robertson Stadium.
Keenum, who made his first start since suffering a knee injury against the Bruins a year ago, completed 30 of 40 passes without an interception. It was Keenum's 26th career game over the 300-yard mark.
Carrier posted 180 all-purpose yards to become the school's all-time leader with 5,941 total yards.
The Cougars came out on top of an offensive shootout that saw the two teams combine for 1,023 total yards and 72 points.
Houston took a 31-14 lead into the half before watching the lead dwindle down to three points midway through the fourth quarter.
The Bruins had reeled off 20 straight points when Houston took over with 12:44 remaining in the contest at their own 37-yard line.
Keenum marched the Cougars down the field, connecting on a 12-yard slant to Carrier, who fumbled the ball on his way into the end zone, where offensive lineman Chris Thompson recovered it for the score with 9:31 remaining to put Houston ahead for good.
The Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter off a Hayes 1-yard touchdown run and a 35-yard field goal from Matt Hogan.
UCLA scored its first touchdown 39 seconds into the second quarter and the two teams traded touchdowns to put the score at 17-14 when Hayes escaped numerous tackles for a jaw-dropping 34-yard touchdown run.
The Cougars took over possession with only 35 seconds remaining in the first half and went 64 yards in only two plays, capped off by a Keenum 23-yard strike to Carrier with only eight seconds left to play.
UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut was 17-of-26 for 264 yards and two touchdowns, while Johnathan Franklin rushed for 138 yards and a score. Joseph Fauria led the Bruin receivers with six catches for 110 yards.
Houston travels for its first road contest against North Texas next Saturday at 6:00 p.m. in Denton.