HOUSTON — D’Eriq King got back to his roots for at least one play on Saturday.
Instead of keeping a reverse just outside the SMU red zone, the quarterback-turned-wide receiver heaved it to Houston’s starting quarterback Kyle Postma for a 22-yard touchdown that helped the Cougars knock off SMU 35-22 on Saturday night.
“As soon as I saw the call, I knew it was going to be a touchdown,” King said.
King started four games at quarterback for the Cougars last season despite splitting time between quarterback and wide receiver and threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 43 touchdowns as a senior at Manvel.
The catch was the second receiving touchdown of Postma’s collegiate career, the first was in the Cougars’ season-opening win against Tennessee Tech in 2015.
“We ran it twice in practice and one of the times I dropped it,” Postma said. “So when he threw it all I was telling myself is not to drop it. It was a perfect throw, all I had to do was catch it and run to the end zone.”
Duke Catalon tied his career high with 22 carries and scored two touchdowns in a game for the first time in his collegiate career. He finished 181 yards and Houston combined for 265 yards on the ground.
Catalon went into head coach Major Applewhite’s office earlier in the week and they had a little talk about his play so far this season. Catalon said he knew he needed to get better and his head coach supported him.
“I told him to go out and just do it,” Applewhite said. “He went out and just did it. I believed him.”
Defensively, safety Terrell Williams came away with two interceptions, the first multi-interception game of his career. Isaiah Johnson led the defense with 11 tackles, Kahlil Williams finished with nine, and Alexander Meyers had six.
Ed Oliver, who was a game-time decision, finished with just four tackles but pressured the SMU quarterback a team-high three times.
“I believed all week he wanted to play,” Applewhite said. “It was more or less up to him. I trusted (defensive line coach A.J.) Blum. The assistants did a great job of getting the guys ready and Ed is another example of what our staff did.”
The two teams scored on five of the first six drives of the game. King caught a touchdown from Postma on the Cougars first drive and Ben Hicks threw a five-yard score to Trey Quinn on the next drive.
Catalon set a new career best with a 45-yard run during a scoring drive in the second quarter, he bested that mark in the third quarter with a 52-yard touchdown run to extend the Cougars lead to 28-19. He scored his second rushing touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs failed to score in a quarter for the first time this season in the fourth quarter and their final three drives ended with a turnover.
Houston continues conference play with a trip to take on Tulsa next Saturday before back-to-back home games against Memphis on Thursday, Oct. 18 and East Carolina. SMU has a bye next week and travels to meet Tulsa on Oct. 21.
“We didn’t play perfect all the time, but I’m proud of them,” Applewhite said. “We’ve got another conference game on the road against a team that will be every bit as mad as we were after our loss to Texas Tech. I told them to enjoy it tonight then get ready to play a good Tulsa team.”