Sept. 22, 2007
HOUSTON -- The University of Houston football team overcame a 17-3 halftime deficit to knock off Colorado State 38-27 Saturday on John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.
Houston (2-1) got four touchdowns, two rushing and two passing, from quarterback Case Keenum who entered the game in the second quarter in relief of starter Blake Joseph. Colorado State (0-3) has lost all three of its games this season by a combined 20 points.
Keenum started off 12-for-12 and finished the game 18-for-22 passing with 197 yards and 66 yards rushing on 12 carries.
He gave the Cougars their first lead of the game with 6:18 to go in the fourth quarter with his first career rushing touchdown, an eight-yard scamper that closed out a nine-play drive. Keenum added a one-yard touchdown run to close out the scoring with 1:54 left in the game.
The Cougar defense came up with a pair of huge stops late in the game to help seal the victory. Linebacker Trent Allen and defensive tackle Cody Pree stopped CSU quarterback Caleb Hanie on a fourth-down quarterback sneak with less than three minutes left.
Following Keenum's touchdown with just over two minutes left, Brendan Pahulu intercepted a Hanie pass deep in CSU territory and the Cougars kneeled on it twice to close out the Cougars' fifth-straight home win, dating back to Oct. 21, 2006. Pahulu finished with nine tackles and a half-sack.
It was the Cougars' largest home comeback since Sept. 16, 2000 when UH trailed 17-3 at the half to Army, but won 31-30.
Cornerback Kenneth Fontenette swung the momentum the Cougars way with a 37-yard fumble recovery for his first career score. CSU's Kyle Bell had the ball knocked out by defensive tackle Tate Stewart and Fontenette caught the ball in stride and took it to the endzone, tying the game up at 24-24 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
Stewart finished with seven tackles while Fontenette had five. Rocky Schwartz led the Cougars with 12 tackles, including four solos. Colorado State's Jake Pottorff led all players on the day with 16 stops.
Wide receiver L.J. Castile scored the Cougars first touchdown of the day with 11:00 minutes left in the third quarter. Castile hauled in a 30-yard strike from a scrambling Keenum at the one and walked into the endzone untouched for his first career touchdown.
Anthony Alridge was held scoreless for the first time this season. He finished with 64 yards on 15 rushes. Donnie Avery made seven catches for 76 yards and Jeron Harvey finished with four catches for 58 yards.
CSU quarterback Caleb Hanie finished 16-for-26 with 227 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He also had 50 yards rushing on eight carries. Luke Roberts made six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown while Bell finished with 74 yards on 23 carries.
The Rams opened up a 17-3 halftime lead, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives and holding UH to its fewest points at home in a half since 2003.
The Houston offense struggled to execute in the first half, starting with Donnie Avery dropping a 69-yard touchdown pass on UH's first drive of the game, forcing the Cougars into a punt three plays later.
On CSU's opening drive, Hanie found Dion Morton on a 37-touchdown pass down the sideline closing out a five-play, 61-yard effort that took just over two minutes to complete.
UH answered back with a 13-play, six-minute drive, capped off by a 46-yard field goal by T.J. Lawrence with 4:39 left in the quarter.
Morton nearly had his second touchdown of the quarter after a 74-yard kickoff return to the Houston 23. The Rams took advantage of their best field position of the day three plays later as Hanie completed a 21-yard screen pass to John Mosure for the score.
Jason Smith capped the scoring for the half with a 40-yard field goal with 5:15 left in the half.
Houston returns to action Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. CDT against Conference USA foe East Carolina at Robertson Stadium.
Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action, David Klingler providing color analysis and Chuck Brown reporting from the sideline. The pregame show is slated to begin one hour before kickoff.
Fans also can follow live stats and video by clicking on the GameTracker and All-Access links at UHCougars.com.