Nov. 8, 2008
Houston-The Houston duo of quarterback Case Keenum and running back Bryce Beall combined for over 500 yards to lead the Cougars over the visiting Green Wave, 42-14 in front of 23,522 at Robertson Stadium. Beall racked up 176 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns, while Keenum finished the night, 29-40 with 384 yards in the air with four touchdowns.
Tulane (2-7, 1-4 C-USA) dropped its fifth straight game and suffered its third consecutive at Houston. Freshman running back Nathan Austin scored both of the Green Wave touchdowns, both of which came courtesy of a Houston turnover. Houston improved to 5-4 overall this season and 4-1 in Conference USA play.
"We played against a good football team tonight and we are a beat up and banged up squad," Tulane head coach Bob Toledo said. "We had a hard time scoring points and we are not stopping anyone right now so that's a bad combination. We had a chance to put some points on the board but we missed field goals and didn't score when we did get into the red zone. Defensively, we couldn't stop them and get them off the field. They had nearly 700 yards of total offense. We just couldn't stop them.
They did everything we practiced, both offensively and defensively. We ran some special plays to manufacture points and that didn't work either. We're a struggling football team right now. Our quarterback (Joe Kemp) broke his collar bone so we're a pretty decimated group as far as injuries go."
The Cougars offensive attack started early as they got on the board in the first possession. Beall skirted into the end zone with 8:34 to go in the first quarter on a six-play, 67-yard scoring drive. A Ben Bell kick completed the PAT attempt for the Cougars and they led 7-0 through the first quarter.
Tulane answered back early in the second quarter when linebacker David Skehan picked up his fifth career fumble, knocked loose by Corey Sonnier, and returned it five yards into Houston territory. The Green Wave offense took over and freshman Nathan Austin recorded his first career touchdown when he scored from 11 yards out to put Tulane on the board with 10:03 in the second quarter, and tied the game at 7-7.
The Cougars regained the lead on their next possession after Tyron Carrier returned Thevenot's kickoff 40 yards to the Houston 41-yard line to begin what would become a seven-play scoring drive. Keenum found Beall in the end zone for a 19-yard TD with 6:33 left in the first half. Bell's kick put Houston up 14-7.
Following a defensive stop, Houston capped off a 68-yard scoring drive when Beall scampered into the end zone after a pass interference call on Tulane gave Houston a first down on the Green Wave 2-yard line. Bell's kick was good and the Cougars extended their lead 21-7 with 3:27 to go in the first half.
Junior Travis Burks tallied his second career interception after picking off a Keenum pass with 31 seconds remaining in the first half. Burks returned the ball back for 31 yards, the second consecutive game in which he picked off a pass. Burks ran back an interception for a 42-yard touchdown last week against LSU.
The Cougars opened the second half with a four-play, 87-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 38-yard touchdown pass. Keenum found Chaz Rodriguez in the end zone and Bell's PAT kick was good, lengthening Houston's lead 28-7 with 13:31 to go in the third quarter.
Keenum became the first quarterback to throw for over 300 yards against the Green Wave this season when he found Mark Hafner in the end zone for a four-yard score with 3:31 to go in the third quarter. Bell's PAT attempt was good and Houston extended their lead 35-7. Trevor Vittatoe of UTEP previously held the record for most yards in the air against Tulane this season, with 296.
Keenum's offensive show wasn't over, as he hit Tim Monroe for a 49-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left in the third quarter. The PAT kick off the foot of Bell made the score 42-7 in favor of Houston.
Austin scored his second career touchdown with 9:17 left in the ballgame on a five-play, 14-yard drive. Thevenot's kick was good, making it 42-14. Austin finished the night with 22 carries for 39 yards to accompany his two scores.
Tulane hosts UAB in their last home game of the season next Saturday, November 15.