Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Michael Hayes and Bryce Beall combined for 171 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Houston Cougars handled the SMU Mustangs, 45-20, in a Conference USA showdown at Gerald J. Ford stadium.
David Piland completed 19-of-32 pass attempts for 233 yards and one touchdown for Houston (4-3, 2-2 CUSA). Patrick Edwards had a team-leading six receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown in the win.
SMU (4-4, 3-1) was led by quarterback Kyle Padron, who threw for 318 yards on 26-of-46 passing, including two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss.
Houston took an early 7-0 lead after Beall rushed up the middle for a one-yard score.
SMU tied the game at seven when Padron hooked up with Aldrick Robinson for a 31-yard touchdown.
Houston regained the lead after Piland connected with Patrick Edwards for 30 yards and a score, as the Cougars took a 14-7 advantage. Kicker Matt Hogan then split the uprights from 23 yards out to give the Cougars a 17-7 lead.
The Mustangs brought the deficit to 17-10, receiving a 31-yard field goal from Matt Szymanski.
Hayes rushed for a two-yard score for Houston as the first half came to a close with the Cougars leading 24-10.
SMU struck first after the intermission when Padron found Cole Beasley for a 29-yard touchdown pass to bring the Mustangs within seven, 24-17.
Houston jumped back to a 31-17 advantage after Tyron Carrier returned a kickoff 91 yards to paydirt.
The score remained that way heading into the fourth quarter when Szymanski connected on his second 42-yard field goal.
Houston took over from there, as Beall found the end zone for the second time with a two-yard touchdown scamper. Hayes followed that up with a five-yard rushing score late in the fourth quarter to seal the 45-20 victory.