Tight end Mark Hafner sprints into the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against Tulane in the first half. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Sept. 15, 2007
NEW ORLEANS - Senior running back Anthony Alridge scored receiving and rushing touchdowns for the second straight game, and senior wideout Donnie Avery added a game-high 103 receiving yards to lead the University of Houston football team to an impressive 34-10 win over Conference USA rival Tulane on Saturday inside the Louisiana Superdome.
The Cougars (1-1, 1-0 C-USA) scored the game's first 31 points and never looked back in taking their fifth straight win over the Green Wave. It also was the fourth time in the last five seasons that the Cougars won their C-USA opener.
Meanwhile, the Cougar defense limited the Green Wave to 313 yards of total offense and did not allow Tulane marks on the scoreboard until midway through the final period when UH had seized control of the game.
In addition to his receiving total, Alridge also led all backs with 87 rushing yards with freshman running back Terrance Ganaway adding a career-high 82 yards on only eight carries.
For the third straight game dating back to the 2006 AutoZone Liberty Bowl and the 17th time under head coach Art Briles, the Cougar offense recorded more than 500 yards of total offense with 304 of those yards coming through the air.
UH took the opening drive and marched 53 yards in seven plays to set up kicker T.J. Lawrence's 33-yard field goal.
The Green Wave mounted a drive to midfield midway through the first period. However, junior linebacker Cody Lubojasky snuffed that drive with his first career interception and raced 62 yards to the Tulane 4-yard line.
Alridge then wasted little time in handing the Cougars a 10-0 lead, scoring on the Cougar offense's first play from scrimmage after the Green Wave miscue.
The Cougars forced Tulane to punt on the ensuing possession and marched 64 in 14 plays on a drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock and was capped with redshirt freshman quarterback Case Keenum hit tight end on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 13:14 remaining in the first half.
After a Tulane punt, UH interception and another Green Wave punt, redshirt freshman wide receiver Teric Williams gave the Cougars a 24-0 lead when he hauled in a strike from sophomore quarterback Blake Joseph and raced down the sideline for the 27-yard touchdown.
The second half began in much the same way as the first. After forcing a three-and-out on Tulane's opening possession, the Cougars pushed their lead to 31-0 on their first possession when Alridge grabbed a Joseph pass and scampered 49 yards for the score.
Tulane put its only mark on the scoreboard at the 7:16 mark of the fourth quarter when Ross Thevenot connected on a 33-yard field goal attempt.
The Cougars answered late in the final period when Lawrence connected on his second 33-yard field goal of the game. Tulane's Chris Dunn hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kevin Moore with 1:06 remaining for the final score.
The Cougars return to action next weekend and open their home season at 3:30 p.m., Saturday as they play host to Colorado State at John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.
Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action, Ted Pardee providing color analysis and Chuck Brown reporting from the sideline. The pregame show is slated to begin one hour before kickoff.
Saturday's game also will be televised live on CSTV with Carter Blackburn calling the play-by-play action and Brian Jones providing color analysis. It will be the first three nationally televised games for the Cougars during the 2007 season.
Fans also can follow live stats by clicking on the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.