Brady White passed for 341 yards and five touchdowns to lead No. 18 Memphis to a 45-27 victory over host Houston in an American Athletic Conference game Saturday at TDECU Stadium.
White completed 22 of 33 passes and had one interception. He also rushed for a touchdown. Kenneth Gainwell had 99 yards on 17 carries.
Three of the Tigers' receivers had more than 80 yards receiving -- Calvin Austin III (five catches for 81 with a touchdown), Damonte Coxie (four for 93 with two touchdowns) and Antonio Gibson (four for 93 with a touchdown).
The Tigers (9-1, 5-1 AAC) have won four consecutive games while Houston (3-7, 1-5) has lost three straight games. The Cougars, who could not hold on to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter, will not be bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.
Houston's Clayton Tune completed 14 of 22 passes for 157 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. He also led the Cougars in rushing with 65 yards on 10 carries. Marquez Stevenson had five catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.
The Memphis defense shut down Houston in the second half after leading 28-20 at halftime. After gaining 256 yards in the first half, the Cougars mustered only 20 yards with one first down in the second half.
Houston scored a touchdown with 4:59 left in regulation on a blocked punt by Gervarrius Owens that was recovered in the end zone by Cole McGowan.
Memphis linebacker Thomas Pickens had two sacks and defensive end Bryce Huff recorded 2.5 tackles for loss to lead the defense. Memphis tallied 8.5 tackles for loss.
In the first half, after White scored on a touchdown run of 14 yards with 3:30 left before halftime, Memphis forced Houston to punt, taking over at its 2. White proceeded to engineer a 98-yard scoring drive that took 11 plays in only 2 minutes. It was capped by White's 16-yard touchdown pass to Austin with 19 seconds left.
--Field Level Media