O'Korn Leads Houston Past South Florida, 35-23
HOUSTON (AP)- John O'Korn was 22 of 27 for 263 yards and three touchdowns and Houston forced a late fumble to beat South Florida 35-23 on Thursday night.
O'Korn threw for at least three touchdowns for a third consecutive week and ended the night with a true freshman-leading 22 touchdown passes on the season,while he also surpassed Jason McKinley to move up to fourth all-time on Houston's all-time single-season passing yards list with 2,121 yards through the air on the year.
Deontay Greenberry caught four passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, and Kenneth Farrowhad rushing and receiving touchdowns for Houston (7-1, 4-0 Athletic Conference). The Cougars are the only FBS team to score in every quarter this season, while they've put up points in 39 consecutive quarters going back to last year.
Greenberry recorded his fifth 100-yard game this season and his third straight contest with at least one receiving touchdown, while Farrow's receiving score marked his first of the year.
Freshman wide out Demarcus Ayers also vaulted himself into prestigious territory, as his 124 kick return yards tonight gave him 642 on the season, which is now the sixth-most in school history for a single season. He's just 114 yards shy of tying Tyron Carrier for fifth on the list (756).
The Cougar defense also kept its impressive turnover streak alive, as the unit has now recorded at least two turnovers in 16 consecutive games going back to 2012.
Making his first career start, Mike White was 26 of 41 for 311 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulls (2-6, 2-2). Andre Davis caught nine passes for 134 yards, and Mike McFarland had two touchdowns. South Florida was penalized 19 times for 170 yards.
Following a muffed punt by the Cougars, South Florida recovered at the Houston 27 with 6 minutes remaining. Davis was called for offensive pass interference on a catch that would have put the Bulls on the 1. On the next play, Tyus Bowsersacked White and forced a fumble thatJeremiah Farleyrecovered at midfield.
O'Korn completed an 11-yard pass to Aaron Johnsonon third-and-7 to the South Florida 21, and Farrow capped the drive with a 5-yard scoring run with 1:40 remaining.
Trailing 28-16, South Florida trimmed Houston's lead to five on a 2-yard touchdown pass from White to McFarland on fourth-and-goal. The play capped a 14-play drive.
The Cougars wasted little time upping the lead to 28-13 on a 48-yard touchdown strike from O'Korn to Greenberry 33 seconds after the Bulls had cut the lead to eight.
Houston took little time scoring, taking three plays to go 64 yards, capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass from O'Korn to Xavier Maxwell with 12:49 left in the first. On the first play of the drive, O'Korn hit Greenberry with a quick slant across the middle, and Greenberry took it 49 yards to the 15.
The Cougars extended their lead to 14-3 with a 3-yard shovel pass from O'Korn to Farrow with a minute to go in the opening quarter, capping a 14-play, 93-yard drive.
South Florida answered with an 8-yard touchdown pass from White to McFarland with 11:25 remaining in the first half. The touchdown was the Bulls' first on offense since Sept. 28 against Miami.
Houston responded with a 6-yard touchdown run from Ryan Jackson1 1/2 minutes later to open a 21-10 lead.
Marvin Kloss made field goals of 39, 50 and 49 yards for South Florida.