By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications
HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 9, 2010) The Houston Cougars’ defense could not hold off an aggressive Mississippi State Bulldog offense, recording their second loss of the season, 47-24 at Robertson Stadium.
The defeat was the first for the Cougars at home since a 37-35 loss to Conference USA-rival East Carolina on Sept. 29, 2007. The loss was the first for head coach Kevin Sumlin in front of the home-town crowd.
Houston got on the board first at the 12:02 mark of the first quarter. Starting quarterback David Piland hit Kierrie Johnson on an 18-yard pass play to give the Cougars the first points of the game. The drive consisted of eight plays for 64 yards.
The Bulldogs came right back with Leon Berry returning the kickoff 23 yards to their 30-yard line. After 5 plays, the Bulldogs were forced to punt. Cougar receiver Patrick Edwards fumbled the catch, which was recovered by the Bulldogs on the Houston seven-yard line.
MSU drove seven yards on two played to tie the score at seven on a five-yard run by Vick Ballard.
The Bulldogs continued their offensive punch, scoring their second and third touchdowns at the 6:20 and :13 marks of the quarter with Chris Relf scoring on q five-yard run and Ballard adding another touchdown to his total on a 12-yard scamper.
The Bulldogs added a safety as the quarter ended to make the score 23-7 after 15 minutes.
The second quarter saw the scoring subside a bit with both teams trading field goals. MSU scored on a 47-yard attempt that Houston matched with a 32-yard Matt Hogan kick at the 4:51 mark.
With 23 seconds left in the half, the Bulldogs added another touchdown when Corey Bloomfield snagged a Piland pass, returning it 27 yards for the score.
MSU retired to the dressing rooms with a 33-10 lead at the half.
Ballard continued his scoring on another 12-yard run with only two minutes gone in the second half.
Houston finally got its second touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Piland to Edwards midway through the 3rd quarter to make the score 40-17 in favor of MSU.
Freshman quarterback Terrance Broadway came into the game with seven minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, right after MSU scored its final touchdown of the evening.
LaDarius Perkins scored on a 20-yard run which resulted in the score being 47-17.
Broadway drove 73 yards in six plays, concluding with a 17-yard pass to Isaiah Sweeney.
That touchdown was the final score of the game.
Offensively, Piland went 30 of 57 for 301 yards in the air, while throwing for two touchdowns.
Tyron Carrier caught 10 passes for 9 yards, while E.J. Smith caught four passes for 86 yards.
The Cougars gave up 538 yards on defense while playing 39 minutes of the game.
Houston is now 3-2 on the season, while remaining 2-0 in Conference USA play. The Bulldogs raised the season record to 4-1 for the season while maintaining their 1-2 record in the SEC.
Houston will travel across town to face long time rival Rice next Saturday at 2:30pm.
Rice is 1-5 for the season and 0-2 in C-USA action after losing to UTEP 44-24 in El Paso on Saturday night.