TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Houston quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 225 yards and a touchdown and the defense made a few late stops, including a fourth-quarter interception by Garrett Davis as the Cougars held off Arizona, 19-16, in its 2017 opener on Saturday.
Houston (1-0) gave Major Applewhite his first victory as head coach after the scheduled opener at UTSA was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey.
John Leday's 81-yard kickoff return set up Houston's go-ahead touchdown with 45 seconds left in the first half.
Arizona's Josh Pollack kicked three field goals for Arizona (1-1), the last, from 42, yards cut the lead to 19-16 with 8:32 to play.
Khalil Tate replaced Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins early in the fourth quarter and the Wildcats were at the Houston 32 when Garrett Davis' interception with 3:49 remaining preserved the win.
Dawkins, who returned for the final three minutes, fumbled the ball away twice, one for a safety, in the second half.
Allen started 14 games and played in 20 for Texas A&M before transferring to Houston. He sat out last season as a redshirt.
Arizona, helped by a pass interference penalty in the end zone, tied it 10-10 on Zach Green's 1-yard run 2:22 before halftime.
Leday took the subsequent kickoff and the last man who had a chance to stop him, Kwesi Mashack, tackled him at the Wildcats 16. Dillon Birden's 3-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds gave Houston its 17-10 halftime lead.
Houston: The Cougars play their home opener next Saturday against Rice.
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