Nov. 4, 2007
HOUSTON - The University of Houston football team earned its fourth-straight win with a 38-28 defeat of SMU in front of 22,774 fans in Conference USA action Sunday on John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.
Houston (6-3, 5-1 C-USA) became bowl eligible for the fourth time in the past five years. SMU (1-8, 0-5 C-USA) has dropped five of the last six meetings to Houston dating back to 1994.
Anthony Alridge led the way with 154 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns. Alridge also had a passing touchdown in the second quarter. The nation's sixth-leading rusher, Alridge has five-straight 100-plus yard rushing games and 10 for his career.
SMU pulled within three after a 21-yard pass from Justin Willis to Zack Sledge made it 31-28 with 5:19 left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs also scored on their opening drive of the half with Willis and Sledge connecting again, this time on a 51-yard bomb that made the score 31-21 with 11:01 left in the third quarter.
Willis was 19-for-32 with 351 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He also had 51 yards rushing and a touchdown. Sledge had three catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
The UH defense forced SMU to punt on its final drive and Keenum engineered a 5:57, 10-play, 56-yard drive to close out the game.
Keenum, who saw the lion's share of the action Sunday, finished 19-for-27 passing with 264 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 57 yards rushing.
Kenneth Fontenette led the way for UH defensively with 10 tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception. The Cougar defense forced five fumbles and recovered three.
SMU drove down the field on its first drive, with Willis scoring on a 4-yard keeper three minutes into the game. The Cougars answered back with a nine-play, 77-yard drive capped off by a two-yard scamper by Alridge with 8:09 left in the opening quarter.
Alridge would add a 36-yard rushing touchdown midway through the second quarter and his first-career passing TD on UH's next drive. Alridge took the pitch from Keenum, ran to the right side and lofted a 24-yard strike to Chaz Rodriguez to give UH a 24-14 lead with 3:29 left.
Keenum added a 14-yard TD pass of his own to Jeron Harvey with 44 seconds left in the half, giving Houston a 31-14 halftime lead.
The Cougars take on Tulsa next Saturday at 2 p.m. on Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium in their final road game of 2007. With a win, the Cougars will clinch the 2007 C-USA West Division crown.
Fans can hear the game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action, Ted Pardee providing color analysis and Chuck Brown reporting from the sideline. The pregame show is slated to begin one hour before kickoff.
Fans also can follow live stats and video by clicking on the GameTracker and All-Access links at UHCougars.com.