HOUSTON - Houston Football let a 17-0 halftime lead slip away as No. 25 Memphis rallied to score 42 second-half points en route to a 42-38 win Thursday evening inside TDECU Stadium.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 4-3 on the year and 2-2 in the American Athletic Conference, while Memphis improved to 6-1 and 3-1 in league play.
Houston quarterback Kyle Postma passed for a career-high 315 yards on a 29-for-40 effort with one touchdown. He also rushed for 49 yards on eight carries.
As an offensive unit, Houston produced 554 total yards of offense, a season-high.
Senior Dillon Birden became the second Cougar this season to rush for over 100 yards as the running back led Houston with a career-best 106 yards rushing on 21 attempts and one score.
Running back mate Duke Catalon added 65 yards on 22 carries with a career-high three rushing touchdowns to lead Houston in scoring.
Senior receiver Linell Bonner notched his sixth career 100+ yard receiving game, tallying 121 yards on eight catches. Bonner's performance was the third game this season with a 100-yard receiver.
Senior Steven Dunbar added eight receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, senior D'Juan Hines led the team with nine tackles. Sophomore Ed Oliver added six tackles, a season-high 2.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery - his first of the season. Garrett Davis notched his league-leading fourth interception of the year.
Houston jumped out to an early 17-0 lead with a late first-quarter touchdown, a 1-yard rush by Birden with 3:29 left in the opening set. Catalon then extended Houston's lead to 14-0 with a 4-yard run.
Kicker Caden Novikoff drilled a 30-yard field goal to send the Cougars into halftime, leading 17-0.
Memphis came out in the third and scored early with a 2-yard run. The Tigers chipped away, tallying three scores in the third quarter alone with Houston clinging to a 31-21 lead after three quarters. Catalon scored on a 1-yard run in that quarter.
Down 31-21 entering the fourth, Memphis made it a 31-28 game on a 1-yard touchdown run. Houston responded with a Dunbar touchdown following an 8-yard pass by Postma to make it a 38-28 game midway through the fourth.
It was all Memphis in the final six minutes of play as the Tigers capitalized on two scores, a 5-yard run and 21-yard pass to steal Houston's lead with 1:28 left.
Houston will return to action at USF on Saturday, Oct. 28. Kickoff is slated for 2:45 pm CT in Tampa, Fla.