Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Case Keenum threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Houston Cougars to a 38-34 victory over the UCLA Bruins at Robertson Stadium.
Keenum connected on 30-of-40 passes for Houston (1-0) and Tyron Carrier hauled in 10 of those passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. Michael Hayes scored two rushing touchdowns for Houston, while Bryce Beall led the team with 69 yards on 11 carries. Beall also found the end zone in the win.
This was the first game for Keenum since he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament last September. Ironically that injured occurred against UCLA.
Richard Brehaut had a terrific game for the Bruins (0-1) even though it was in a losing effort. The signal caller threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 87 yards and one more score. The ground game was led by Johnathan Franklin though, who finished with 128 yards and one score on 16 totes.
Houston opened the game with a 16-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a one-yard run by Michael Hayes. Later in the quarter the Cougars pushed their lead to 10-0 with a 35-yard field goal by Matt Hogan.
After going scoreless through the first quarter, the Bruins found the end zone less than a minute into the second stanza, as Franklin broke free for an 18- yard score.
Houston went back up 10 points midway through the quarter when Bell stormed up the middle into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown run.
UCLA responded on its next drive, as Brehaut hit Joseph Fauria with a five-yard touchdown pass.
Houston's offense continued to attack though, and with less than two minutes remaining in the first half the Cougars struck twice and went into the break with a 31-14 lead.
The first score came on a 34-yard run by Hayes, and that was followed by a 23- yard scoring strike from Keenum to Carrier.
The Bruins came out of the intermission a completely different team and scored 14 points in a lopsided third quarter. The first score was a one-yard run by Derrick Coleman, which capped off an 11-play, 76-yard drive.
Brehaut added a one-yard touchdown run of his own in the final seconds of the quarter, cutting UCLA's deficit to 31-28.
Houston answered back with an unorthodox touchdown. Early in the final frame Keenum threw a 12-yard pass to Carrier who fumbled the ball, but it was recovered by Chris Thompson in the end zone, giving the Cougars a 38-28 lead.
With less than two minutes remaining in regulation Brehaut hit Anthony Barr with an 11-yard scoring strike. However, the extra point was blocked leaving the Bruins down by a four-point margin.