HOUSTON (AP) -- Anthony Alridge had 205 rushing yards, Donnie Avery had 346 receiving yards and Houston scored the final 21 points to rally past Rice 56-48 Saturday.
Aldridge scored four touchdowns, including a 33-yard run that put the Cougars (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) ahead 49-48 with 3:37 remaining. He added a 50-yard TD for the final points two minutes later.
Avery set conference and school records with his receiving total and finished with 427 all-purpose yards. He had two touchdowns.
The Owls (1-5, 1-1) led 48-35 going into the fourth quarter, but Houston quarterback Case Keenum, who replaced starter Black Joseph in the second half, scored on a 2-yard keeper early in the quarter to get the rally going.
Rice trailed 28-24 in the second quarter before outscoring the Cougars 24-7 behind quarterback Chase Clement and receiver Jarett Dillard.
Clement threw for a 355 yards, a career high, and three touchdowns and led the Owls with 52 rushing yards. Dillard had 133 receiving yards and a first-quarter touchdown.
Trailing 34-28 just before halftime, Houston had a chance to take the lead with 16 seconds left, but Joseph committed his second turnover when he fumbled on the Rice 1.
Joseph was 11-of-18 passing for 318 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. Avery had 208 receiving yards in the first quarter, a school record for a quarter.