Oct. 20, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Houston football team jumped out to a 14-3 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in taking a convincing 49-10 win over Conference USA rival UAB on Saturday at Legion Field.
With the win, the Cougars enjoyed their biggest win under head coach Art Briles and their biggest road victory since taking a 64-0 decision at Rice during the 1989 regular-season finale.
The Cougars, who improved to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in C-USA games, fell behind early when UAB held UH to three-and-out on its first possession and took advantage of a 33-yard punt return by Rashaud Slaughter to set up Swayze Waters' 41-yard field goal.
However, that would be as close to the lead as the Blazers would get the rest of the way. UAB appeared to seize the momentum on its second possession of the game, marching to the Cougar 6-yard line. But senior safety Rocky Schwartz hauled in a tipped pass in the end zone and raced 34 yards to kill UAB's drive.
It was the first four of Cougar pickoffs on the night, the most since UH snared four interceptions at East Carolina during the 2004 season. Schwartz led the way with a pair of pickoffs for the first multi-interception game of his career, while junior cornerback Kenneth Fontenette, junior defensive end Phillip Hunt hauled in one apiece.
Taking over, the Cougar offense marched 66 yards in eight plays and grabbed the lead for good when redshirt freshman quarterback Case Keenum hit tight end Mark Hafner on a 10-yard touchdown strike with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter.
After the two teams traded punts, the Cougar offense took control of the game, marching at will down the field against the Blazer defense. Keenum capped a drive with a plunge into the end zone from 1-yard out, and freshman running back pushed the UH advantage to 28-3 with a 1-yard touchdown score of his own with 4:33 remaining in the first half.
UAB cut into the Cougar lead on the next possession when Frantrell Forrest snared a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Hunt with only 1:55 remaining in the second period.
But any momentum the Blazers hoped to carry in to the locker room at the halftime break was extinguished as the Cougars marched 73 yards in 10 plays and scored when sophomore quarterback Blake Joseph hit senior wide receiver Jeron Harvey on a 19-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone with only one second remaining in the first half.
Alridge topped all backs with 111 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead a Cougar offense which posted 540 yards of total offense. Joseph and Keenum each tossed touchdown passes with Joseph's 105 yards on 10-of-17 passing leading the aerial attack.
Hafner recorded five catches for 66 yards to led the UH wideouts.
Forrest caught five passes for 96 yards and the lone touchdown to lead the UAB offense. Hunt finished with 198 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions on 12-of-34 passing.