HOUSTON -- Chase Clement threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns for Rice in a 56-42 win over Houston on Saturday to deny the Cougars a chance at the Conference USA championship.
Needing a win to clinch the West in Conference USA, Houston instead quickly fell behind and lost to the Owls (9-3, 7-1) for the first time in the series since 2004.
The loss by Houston (7-5, 6-2) means that Tulsa and East Carolina will play for the conference title next week. Tulsa got the nod over Rice after beating the Owls head-to-head.
James Casey caught three touchdown passes from Clement, scored another on a 1-yard plunge and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass for the Owls. His 104 catches this season are a single-season conference record.
Houston's Case Keenum threw for 494 yards and five touchdowns, and set a Football Bowl Subdivision record with 25 straight pass completions. Keenum finished 30-of-54, and he is one game shy of tying the NCAA record of 14 consecutive 300-yard passing games.
L.J. Castile led Houston with five catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns.
C.J. Ugokwe rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries for the Owls.