Houston scored 28 unanswered points and ran away with the Bayou Bucket Classic on Saturday and defeated Rice 45-27 on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars have won five straight games against their long-time cross-town rivals and are now 31-11 in the all-time series.
Rice led at halftime and held a 27-17 advantage with a field goal in the third quarter before Houston took the game over with four straight touchdowns.
Houston quarterback D'Eriq King scampered his way into the endzone from four yards out to make it a 27-24 and then connected with wideout Marquez Stevenson (five catches, 107 yards) for a 57-yard touchdown strike to give the Cougars a lead they would not relinquish.
King (17-24, 320 yards passing, three touchdowns) added another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter when he found Courtney Lark for the 18-yard completion, and running back Patrick Carr (eight carries, 74 yards, touchdown) ended things with a 37-yard touchdown trot with less than four minutes left in the afternoon affair.
The up-tempo offense used by new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles had its early issues but eventually found its footing, and the stats show: Houston amassed 571 yards on 62 plays, gaining 9.2 yards per play on average.
All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver totaled five tackles and eight tackle assists. The reigning Outland Trophy winner was a part of a defense that surrendered just three second-half points and forced the Owls into three missed long-distance field goals.
Houston hosts Arizona on Saturday, while Rice travels to take on Hawaii.
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