9:00 PM ET, September 23, 2006
Robertson Stadium, HOUSTON, TX
HOUSTON (AP) -- Leading Houston to its first 4-0 start since 1990 was an emotional moment for the Cougars' Kevin Kolb.
Kolb outdueled Bobby Reid by throwing for 313 yards and four touchdowns to propel Houston to the 34-25 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday night.
"I wanted to cry when I walked off the field tonight," he said. "It was everything we've been waiting for."
Kolb, who is the active career leader in Division I-A completions, passing yards and total offense, had touchdown passes of 42, 33, 27 and 7 yards. He was 21-of-28.
Reid, who is from the Houston area, kept the Cowboys (3-1) in the game and finished with 281 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also had 85 yards rushing.
Houston coach Art Briles was ecstatic that his team was able to perform in its first big test of the season.
"There has always been that question mark out there of can we win the big game," Briles said. "Are we this good? I wonder about these things. Right now you can throw all of questions away. It doesn't mean it's going to stay that way because you have to prove yourself each week. For these 60 minutes this week we were a pretty good football team."
Houston's next test: Traveling to Miami to face the Hurricanes next Saturday.
The Cougars took advantage of an overturned call to take a 24-17 lead just before halftime.
Jeron Harvey caught a short pass from Kolb and was trying for extra yards when the ball was stripped by Rodrick Johnson and recovered by Oklahoma State.
Briles challenged the call and it was overturned, with the official saying Harvey's forward progress was stopped before the turnover.
"I thought it was a fumble. The guy was standing straight up and the ball coughed out," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.
Kolb's pass into a crowd of three Houston players and two Oklahoma State defenders was tipped by Harvey and Vincent Marshall made a diving catch for the 27-yard touchdown.
Briles said that play is something they work on "four or five times a week" in practice.
"He (Marshall) told the guys to tip it up, and he would dive in to catch it," Briles said. "You have to have plays that to win games."
Kolb responded by throwing his fourth touchdown, a perfect 7-yard pass to Biren Ealy, who was tightly covered in the end zone but made the catch to extend Houston's lead to 34-25 early in the fourth quarter. The Cougars kept that drive alive by converting a fourth-and-1 with a 2-yard run by Jackie Battle, who finished with 108 yards on 17 carries.
Most of the crowd of 28,260 -- the third-largest in Robertson Stadium history -- remained until the end despite heavy rain that began with about 12 minutes left in the game.
Oklahoma State threatened with about eight minutes left, but Ernest Miller broke up a pass from Reid on fourth-and-2 from the 5. With less than three minutes to play, the Cougars again stopped a Cowboys drive inside the 5, when Houston recovered Crosslin's fumble on the 1-yard line.
"The red zone defense saved us tonight," Briles said. "Our guys did an outstanding job defensively of making big plays when they had to. That's what won us the game."
Reid also had touchdown passes of 75 and 27 yards, and Adarius Bowman finished with seven catches for 166 yards and a touchdown.
"I'm pretty happy with my performance but at the end of the day it wasn't enough," Reid said. "In my opinion we should have won that game and I just felt that if I had the ball more we would have won."
Houston had 74 plays for 509 yards and Oklahoma State had 49 for 446.
"It was a tough one," Gundy said. "We need a lot of practice. I think we had a lot of young players tonight make a lot of mistakes."
Houston left tackle SirVincent Rogers left the game in the first quarter with what appeared to be a left knee injury and did not return. He was taken to a hospital but no update on his condition was immediately available.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-10||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||2-2|
|FG||10:59||JASON RICKS 28 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 38 yards.
|FG||3:56||BEN BELL 35 YD FG|
Drive info: 15 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||1:26||DONNIE AVERY 42 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (BEN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 53 yards.
|TD||0:15||ADARIUS BOWMAN 75 YD PASS FROM BOBBY REID (JASON RICKS KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||9:04||D'JUAN WOODS 27 YD PASS FROM BOBBY REID (JASON RICKS KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||7:32||MARK HAFNER 33 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (BEN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||0:03||VINCENT MARSHALL 27 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (BEN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 77 yards.
|FG||7:42||BEN BELL 19 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 52 yards.
|TD||5:53||D'JUAN WOODS 26 YD PASS FROM BOBBY REID (JULIUS CROSSLIN 2PT RUSH)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||13:37||BIREN EALY 7 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (BEN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 79 yards.