TAMPA, Fla. -- Houston Football knocked off unbeaten No. 17 USF, 28-24, on the road in Tampa as D'Eriq King rushed in for a 20-yard touchdown with 11 seconds to play to put the Cougars ahead for good.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 5-3 on the year and 3-2 in American Athletic Conference play, while USF fell to 7-1 and 4-1 in league action.
Houston has now secured at least one win over a nationally-ranked team in three straight seasons following Saturday's victory.
King was sharp as he led Houston to the win, passing for 137 yards on a 12-for-20 effort with one score, while also rushing for 83 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
Mulbah Car led the rushing attack with a career-high 137 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown. He helped the Cougars to 255 yards rushing on 48 attempts.
Courtney Lark had two huge catches for the Cougars, including a 30-yard reception to keep the final Houston drive alive when the Cougars needed 24 yards on fourth down. He finished with 69 yards on two catches with one touchdown.
Houston and USF played to a 0-0 stalemate in the first quarter.
The Bulls scored the game's first points on a 2-yard rush by D'Erne Johnson with 9:34 left in the second quarter to give USF the 7-0 lead.
Despite being held scoreless in the first half, Houston managed to keep USF to just seven points and forced four three-and-outs in the opening half.
Houston opened the third quarter with a 6-play 75-yard drive that resulted in a 39-yard touchdown pass from King to Lark to tie the game at 7-7 with 13:02 left in the third.
The touchdown was the first of Lark's career and the 39-yard reception was a career-long.
USF's Quinton Flowers used a 3-yard rush to put the Bulls back on top, 14-7 with 8:55 left in the third quarter.
Down by a score, Car used a career-long 46-yard rush to set up a scoring drive that resulted in a 4-yard rush shortly after to make it a 14-14 game with 3:03 left in the third.
USF jumped back on top at 21-14 with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Flowers with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.
King notched his first touchdown of the game, tying it up at 21-21 with 6:20 left to play on a 3-yard run, which followed a career-long 44-yard rush by King.
USF took 4:34 off the clock late, which resulted in a 30-yard field goal to put the Bulls back on top, 24-21 with just under two minutes left in the game.
With under a minute to play and Houston on its heels needing 24 yards on a fourth-down conversion, King found Lark for a 30-yard reception to move the chains and keep the drive alive.
The drive then resulted in a 20-yard touchdown run by King to put Houston on top, 28-24 with 11 seconds left.
Defensively, Houston was led by linebacker D'Juan Hines, who tallied 13 tackles, his fourth-career double-digit tackle game and third of his career.
Houston snapped USF's NCAA-record 24 straight games of scoring at least 30 points, holding the Bulls to just 24 points.
The Cougars are back in action next Saturday, Nov. 4 when they welcome ECU to TDECU Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 11 am CT on CBS Sports Network and KPRC 950 AM.