Hayes ran for 86 yards and Beall added 85 for the Cougars (4-3, 3-1 Conference USA), who have won two of four games since star quarterback Case Keenum was lost for the season with a knee injury. David Piland, a true freshman making his third start, completed 19 of 32 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown.
Receiver Tyron Carrier had a big special-teams TD for Houston. After the Mustangs got within 24-17 on Padron's 29-yard scoring pass to Cole Beasley in the third quarter, Carrier returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to re-establish a 14-point lead and squash SMU's momentum.
Carrier caught three passes for 42 yards to give him 34 straight games with at least one reception, which is tied for the fourth-longest streak in the nation.