HOUSTON -- Nick Fanuzzi threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns to lead Rice to a 34-31 win over Houston on Saturday.
The Cougars (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) trailed 27-7 before scoring 24 unanswered points to take a 31-27 lead on a field goal by Matt Hogan with about nine minutes remaining.
But Fanuzzi threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald with 4:24 remaining for the win.
The Cougars tried to come back again, but on fourth-and-inches from the Rice 42, quarterback David Piland fumbled the snap and the Owls (2-5, 1-2) took over on downs.
Sam McGuffie rushed for 63 yards on 19 carries to lead Rice on the ground.
Piland threw for 282 yards and three touchdown on 23-of-45 passing, and Bryce Beall rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries to lead Houston.