Memphis 45

(4-3, 1-2 American)

Houston 14

(5-2, 2-1 American)

Coverage: GamePlan

8:00 PM ET, October 18, 2003

Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX

1 2 3 4 T
MEM 28 10 7 045
HOU 0 0 0 1414

Memphis 45, Houston 14

HOUSTON (AP) -- It didn't take long for Memphis to take advantage of Houston mistakes.

Will Hyden returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown 3:50 into the game, starting a 28-point first quarter in the Tigers' 45-14 victory Saturday.

"That lit it," said Memphis coach Tommy West. "One team needed something to kind of spark them and we got the one that sparked us. That was really big."

Houston coach Art Briles took the blame for his play-calling.

"I made a bad call on a middle screen," he said. "I knew it was a risky call and at that stage of the game, I should not have made it. I knew better.

On Houston's next possession, Jackie Battle fumbled and Derrick Ballard recovered at the Cougars' 20. Six plays later, Danny Wimprine threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Avery to make it 14-0 with 6:46 left in the first.

Wimprine hit 13-of-25 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns and DeAngelo Williams had his sixth straight 100-yard rushing day as Memphis (4-3, 1-2 Conference USA) ended a two-game losing streak.

"It's a game of mistakes," said Williams, who had 20 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns. "Whoever makes the most mistakes loses."

Wimprine added a 36-yard touchdown pass to Mario Pratcher and a 55-yard TD to Avery for a 28-0 first-quarter lead.

Houston (5-2, 2-1) managed two first downs the quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Williams ran 21 yards for a touchdown, and Stephen Gostowski's 33-yard field goal made it 38-0 at halftime.

Brandon Middleton, who extended his streak to 34 straight games with at least one reception, caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Kolb in the fourth quarter for Houston.

The Cougars scored again added a 12-yard pass from backup quarterback Blade Bassler to Vincent Marshall with 30 seconds to play.