The Houston Cougars' offense didn't light up the scoreboard in the first half, instead score one touchdown on the ground and kicking two field goals to take a 13-0 lead over the SMU Mustangs. Record-setting quarterback Case Keenum threw for 166 yards, but failed to throw a touchdown in the half.
The defense was the story of the half for SMU, with the Mustangs picking up just 11 yards on the ground and 93 total yards. SMU quarterback J.J. McDermott completed nine of 14 passes for 83 yards to lead the way for the Mustangs. Jared Williams rushed for 17 yards in the half.
Michael Hayes scored the only touchdown of the half, rushing it in from 36 yards out. Hayes finished with 59 yards on the ground in the half.