HOUSTON – D’Eriq King passed for 128 yards and rushed for 94, accounting for three total touchdowns, but it wasn’t nearly enough, as Washington State held off a late rally by the Houston Cougars and held on for a 31-24 victory at NRG Stadium on Friday night.
King’s 17 carries led the Houston rushing attack, with Patrick Carr adding 77 yards on 9 carries. The Houston quarterback also matched Tim Tebow’s FBS record by recording his 14th consecutive game with both passing and rushing touchdowns.
However, Washington State coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense was on full display, as quarterback Anthony Gordon passed for 440 yards and three touchdowns.
Houston outgained Washington State by 190 yards on the ground, but Gordon’s passing game was too much for the Houston defense.
The much-anticipated matchup brought offensive guru Leach back on the field with new Houston head coach Dana Holgerson, who once played under Leach before beginning his coaching career on Leach’s staff.
Despite falling behind late in the game, Houston pulled with a touchdown when King carried the ball into the end zone from 12 yards out with 2:21 remaining. Washington recovered the ensuing onside kick and, after a first down, ran the clock out to secure the victory.
On a short week, Houston (1-2) will travel to Tulane for a Thursday night matchup against the Green Wave.
Washington State (3-0) will return home to host UCLA next Saturday.