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Houston 34, Army 14

11/15/2003

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- Looking to end a three-game losing
streak and secure a bowl bid, Houston couldn't have asked for a
better opponent.

Kevin Kolb passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns in Houston's
34-14 victory over Army on Saturday, the Black Knights' 13th
straight loss.

"It's a hard game to get to, to get that bowl eligibility
because so many people fight for it," Houston coach Art Briles
said. "I'm just proud of our players for having strength, belief
and attitude. We're there."

Brandon Middleton had six catches for 129 yards and two
touchdowns, and Anthony Evans added 140 yards and one TD rushing
for Houston (6-4, 3-3 Conference USA).

Army (0-11, 0-8) also has lost 13 straight home games. It last
recorded a victory here on Oct. 27, 2001, beating Tulane 42-35.

"We have the utmost respect for Army," Middleton said. "The
real motivation was getting over that three-game losing streak. In
the past, Houston teams have caved in. We handled it better than we
did before. We wanted to get that momentum swing."

Houston dominated offensively and defensively, amassing 561
yards and holding Army to 208 yards and 10 first downs. Kolb, a
freshman, was 24-of-28 and scrambled for 45 yards.

Using short passes and rushing 71 times, the Cougars kept
possession of the ball for 39:05, compared to 20:55 for Army. Army
was held to just 10 yards on the ground.

"We thought we'd be able to run the football better," Army
interim coach John Mumford said. "They did a great job on first
down blitzing us, twisting up front and getting us in
second-and-long.

"Houston's offense is very prolific and we knew it was going to
be a war of attrition one way or the other defensively."

William White had two TD catches for Army. He caught five passes
for 150 yards, a career high.

In the first half, Army quarterback Reggie Nevels was under
constant pressure, getting sacked five times and going 2-for-8 for
92 yards and one touchdown. His second-half replacement, Zac
Dahman, went 9-of-21 for 106 yards and one TD.

The Black Knights scored the game's first TD when Nevels hit
White with a 60-yard TD pass halfway through the first quarter. It
was the lone completion for Nevels in the first quarter.

It was all Houston after that.

The Cougars responded with a nine-play, 73-yard drive capped by
a 3-yard TD run by Evans.

Houston scored its second TD on a 35-yard TD pass from Kolb to
Middleton with 7:28 left in the second quarter. The touchdown ended
a 79-yard drive.

"We had to pick them apart there and put together some
drives," Kolb said. "We couldn't really hit them with the deep
bombs. Once we put together the drives and I ran a bit, it opened
things up for Brandon and the receivers."

Dustin Bell hit a 26-yard field goal and added a 20-yard effort
with a second left in the quarter to give Houston a 20-7 lead.

Houston struck for another TD with 10:46 remaining in the third
quarter when Middleton outmaneuvered tight coverage to catch a
50-yard pass from Kolb. It was Middleton's 11th TD catch on the
year.

Bobby Tillman added a touchdown on an 8-yard run with 7:38 left
in the quarter.

Army ended its scoring drought on a 10-yard TD pass from Dahman
to White with 11:02 left in the game.

"The only thing I want to do is win," White said. "It's nice
to have a pretty good game, but in the end all I want to do is
win."