Nov. 29, 2013
HOUSTON (AP)- Freshman quarterback John O'Korn threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-41 passing, while the Cougar defense forced four turnovers, as Houston cruised to a 34-0 victory over in-state rival SMU, Friday afternoon at Reliant Stadium.
For the Cougars (8-4, 5-3 The American), the win gives them their 16th eight-win season in program history, while the defense recorded its first shutout of an opponent since blanking Georgia State 56-0 on Sept. 24, 2011.
The 25 completions for O'Korn moved his pastKevin Kolb for tops on the school's all-time freshman completion list with 239, while the two passing touchdowns gave him 26 on the year, which is also a new freshman school record.
Junior wide receiver Daniel Spencer hauled in a team-high seven receptions for a game-high 100 receiving yards and a touchdown to lead the Cougar receiving core. It was his fifth 100-yard receiving game this year, while the touchdown was his sixth on the season.
Sophomore tailback Ryan Jacksonled the ground attack for Houston, as he rushed for a team-high 62 yards on seven carries, while punching in his sixth rushing touchdown of the season.
Senior defensive back Zach McMillianrecorded two interceptions in a game for the first time in his career, while senior running back Kent Brooksrushed for a touchdown on a career-best 38 yards with a career-high eight carries in their final home games of their careers.
It didn't take long for Houston to take control of this one, as O'Korn chucked a 67-yard bomb to Spencer, giving the Cougars a 7-0 lead with just over one minute gone by in the contest. The play was also the seventh longest of the season for Houston.
Houston found the end zone once again in the second quarter, as O'Korn found Greg Ward for a 19-yard touchdown grab, making Ward the first Cougar player since 2007 to collect at least one receiving, throwing, and rushing touchdown in the same season, while more importantly giving UH a commanding 17-0 advantage with 13:05 left to play in the half.
The Cougars really put a stranglehold on the game, after sophomore defensive end Eric Eilandpicked up recovered a fumble and ran it back 62 to yards to the SMU one-yard line, before Brooks punched it in to make it a 24-0 Houston lead at halftime.
The Cougars went on to put up a 10 spot in the third quarter, as they rolled to their first conference shutout since defeating Rice 64-0 on Dec. 2, 1989. It was also the first time SMU (5-6, 4-3 The American) had been shutout since the 2004 campaign.