Sept. 21, 2013
With Saturday's 31-26 win over Rice, the Cougars improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2011 and 13th time in program history.
The win improved Houston's overall record to 391-341-15 all-time.
Houston moves to 29-11 all-time against Rice and 2-0 when the two teams meet at Reliant Stadium.
Today's win marked the second straight Bayou Bucket win for head coach Tony Levine.
Houston forced multiple turnovers for the third straight game as it picked off a pass and recovered one Rice fumble and 11th straight game overall, dating back Rice on Sept. 29, 2012.
The Houston defense has held its opponents to a combined 52 points through the first three games of the 2013 season. The 52 points is the fewest points allowed by the Cougars in the first three games of a season since giving up a combined 40 points during the first three games of the 1999 season (W, 28-3; L, 10-37; W, 45-0).
Two Cougars landed among the double-digit tackle chart, as Steven Taylor led Houston with 11 tackles, followed by Adrian McDonald with 10.
In his first reception of the game, sophomore Deontay Greenberry tied a career-long with his 61-yard reception, setting Houston up for its first scoring drive of the contest. Greenberry's previous 61-yard reception came against Tulane on Nov. 24, 2012.
With Greenberry's 146 receiving yards, Houston has had a 100-yard receiver for the third straight game this season after Greenberry's 165 receiving yards at Temple and Daniel Spencer's 102 receiving yards vs. Southern.
Greenberry's back-to-back 100-yard receiving games marks the first time a Houston player has notched at least 100 receiving yards in consecutive games since Dewayne Peace accomplished that feat on Sept. 8 and Sept. 15 in 2012.
Sophomore running back Ryan Jackson has recorded a touchdown in each of the Cougars' three games this season when he notched Houston's first score of the game on a 1-yard rush in the first quarter. He has also recorded a touchdown in four straight games, dating back to Houston's win over Tulane on Nov. 24, 2012.
With Jackson's 32-yard reception for a touchdown to open the fourth quarter from John O'Korn, the running back has now recorded a receiving and rushing touchdown in today's game - the first time in his career.
In his first career start, true freshman quarterback John O'Korn became the third quarterback in Houston history to throw for at least three touchdowns, joining Crawford Jones (5 at Marshall - Nov. 17, 2012; 5 vs. UNLV - Sept. 8, 1990).
O'Korn finished with career-high 281 yards, surpassing his previous high of 233 yards, which came in Houston's win at Temple on Sept. 7. Today's effort came on 15-of-33 with three touchdowns and a career-long 61-yarder.
O'Korn completed a career-long 61-yard pass to Deontay Greenberry to set up Houston's first scoring drive in the opening quarter.
O'Korn tied his career-high with three touchdown passes in today's contest - his previous coming in a win at Temple on Sept. 7 of this year.
Junior Daniel Spencer's second quarter touchdown marked his fifth career touchdown in three games played at Reliant Stadium. Spencer recorded one touchdown in a win over Rice (Sept. 29, 2012), three in a win over Southern (Aug. 30, 2013) and one in today's contest.
Greg Ward Jr.
In his first collegiate appearance and first career snap, true freshman quarterback Greg Ward Jr. rushed for nine yards.
Ward Jr. went on to complete all three pass attempts for 48 yards - a career-long being a 31-yard pass to Markeith Ambles.
Ward Jr. nearly was tagged with 100 rushing yards, finishing just shy at 80 yards on nine rushing attempts - a career-long of 29 yards.
Senior defensive back Thomas Bates recorded his second career forced fumble, both happening this season - his first coming in Houston's season-opener vs. Southern on August 30. The forced fumble was recovered by Adrian McDonald.
Sophomore defensive back Adrian McDonald recovered a fumble at the 2:16 mark in the first quarter for his second career fumble recovery. His first fumble recovery came in a win over Tulane on Nov. 24, 2012.
The fumble recovery for McDonald was the second straight game he has handed the ball back over to the Houston offense after tallying an interception in a win at Temple on Sept. 7.
McDonald notched his second career double-digit tackle game with his 10 tackles in today's win.
Tyus Bowser & Steven Taylor
Freshman defensive end Tyus Bowser and redshirt freshman linebacker Steven Taylor were credited with a combined sack - the first of their careers. The sack forced a Rice third and 14.
Tyus Bowser picked off his first career pass at the 9:47 mark in the second quarter.
Bower went on to record his first career solo sack for a loss of seven at the 10-minute mark in the third quarter to bring up fourth and 19 for Rice. Bower now has 1.5 sacks credited to his name in today's game alone becoming the first Houston player to have multiple sacks in a game this season.
Steven Taylor notched his first double-digit tackle game of his career, leading Houston with 11 tackles today.
BY THE NUMBERS
True freshman Tyus Bowser became the first Houston player to have multiple sacks in a game this season - tallying 1.5 in today's contest vs. Rice.
True freshman QB Greg Ward Jr. made his first career appearance and rushed for 80 yards - second most in today's game for Houston.
Sophomore Deontay Greenberry has recorded back-to-back game with at least 100 yards receiving.
Sophomore Adrian McDonald notched his second straight game with a forced turnover - after his fumble recovery in today's game.
Sophomore running back Ryan Jackson has tallied a touchdown in each of Houston's three games this season and fourth straight dating back to the Cougars' win over Tulane in the final game of 2012.
Junior Daniel Spencer has five career touchdowns in three games played at Reliant Stadium after tallying one in today's contest.
Freshman quarterback John O'Korn completed 15 passes in Saturday's win against Rice.
Houston's defense has combined to give up just 52 points (13, 13, 26) in its first three games this season - the least amount since allowing 40 points during the 1999 season.
Sophomore Deontay Greenberry tied his career-long with his 61-yard reception on a career-long pass by freshman quarterback John O'Korn in the first quarter.
Sophomore receiver Deontay Greenberry finished Saturday with 146 receiving yards, marking his second career 100-yard receiving game - as they have fallen in back-to-back contests.
Freshman quarterback John O'Korn threw for 281 passing yards to set a career high during Saturday's win over Rice in the Bayou Bucket.