HOUSTON - Houston Football forced two turnovers and extended its forced turnover streak to 32 straight games as its valiant effort fell short in a 31-24 loss to Tulane inside TDECU Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Following the score, sophomore Tyler McCloskey recovered an onside kick to give the Cougars new life. Ward moved the offense 48 yards on seven plays before an interception on the final game of the play with the Cougars forcing fourth-and-goal on Tulane's 5-yard line.
The loss snapped the Cougars' three-game win streak as they fell to 5-4 on the season and 3-2 in American Athletic Conference play, while Tulane improved to 3-6 and 2-6 in league action.
Junior Adrian McDonald recovered a fumble for a touchdown, which was forced by senior cornerback Turon Walker to keep the Houston Defense's forced turnover streak alive at 32 consecutive games, dating back to 2012. The streak is the second-longest in the nation, trailing just Ole Miss' 33-game streak.
McDonald's fumble recovery for a touchdown marked the second recovered fumble in the end zone for Houston this season and the third defensive touchdown of 2014.
With the two forced turnovers of the afternoon, Houston has now forced multiple turnovers in 26 of the last 30 games.
Senior linebacker Efrem Oliphant notched his 16th career double-digit tackle game and his seventh of the year, totaling 13 stops to lead all players.
True freshman Matthew Adams recorded a career-high 11 tackles, surpassing his previous total of four, which happened twice, last at USF a week ago. He also added 2.5 tackles for loss in the effort.
Offensively, Greenberry finished the day with a season-high 12 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. The 100+ yard game was the seventh of his career and the first since a win vs. Grambling on Sept. 6.
Ward finished the afternoon throwing for a career-best 31-of-45 for 342 yards and two touchdowns, surpassing his previous highs of 29-of-33 for 268 yards and two scores vs. Temple on Oct. 17.
Ward also ran a career-high 18 times, totaling 59 yards to lead the ground game for Houston. Junior running back Kenneth Farrow added eight carries for 21 yards.
Tulane jumped on board early when it scored on a 12-yard pass from Tanner Lee to Teddy Veal with 11:19 left in the first quarter. The Cougars responded with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ward to senior Markeith Ambles to take a tied game into the second quarter.
Down 14-7 with 1:53 left in the first half after Tulane used a 63-yard pass from Lee to Dontrell Hilliard to take another lead, Walker forced his fumble and McDonald recovered it for a touchdown, tying the game at 14.
As time expired on the first half, junior kicker Kyle Bullard connected on a 39-yard field goal to give Houston a 17-14 lead heading into the half after McDonald intercepted a Lee pass, ending back-to-back Tulane drives with a turnover.
Midway through the third quarter, Tulane took a 21-17 lead when Lee hit Leondre James for a 9-yard touchdown pass. The Green Wave extended its lead to 11 with a 1-yard run by Hillard and then used a 25-yard field goal to take its largest lead, 31-17.
Houston Football will return to action Saturday, Nov. 22, when it welcomes Tulsa to TDECU Stadium for the final home game of 2014. Kickoff time will be announced Monday, Nov. 10.
SINGLE GAME TICKET INFORMATION
Single-game ticket sales for the inaugural season in TDECU Stadium start at $36 per person for reserved seats and $25 for general admission for the final home game and can be purchased by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by clicking here.
GROUP TICKET INFORMATION
Single-game group ticket sales for the inaugural season in TDECU Stadium are now on sale via the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. Groups of at least 10 or more can purchase tickets starting at just $21 per person for the final home game by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by clicking here.