No. 25 Memphis overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit to win at Houston on Thursday, 42-38. It’s a huge win for the Tigers, who move to 3-1 in AAC play, tied with Navy atop the league’s West division (and ahead, really, on a head-to-head tiebreaker). It’s a devastating loss for Houston, which is now 2-2 in the conference.
The Tigers scored touchdowns on six consecutive drives in the second half. The game-winner was a 21-yard pass from Riley Ferguson to Sean Dykes with 1:28 left. That capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive and a comeback that lasted all night.
Houston fumbled on its next drive, but its defense forced a late stop to give the Cougars the ball with 42 seconds left and no timeouts, down four. UH quarterback Kyle Postma, the guy who’d just fumbled, got picked off to end the night.
The Tigers got four second-half touchdowns from running back Patrick Taylor, and they chiseled away even as Houston continued to put points on the board.
Houston scored more in the second 30 minutes than it did in the first, but it didn’t matter much once Memphis figured out how to score at will.
The game wasn’t all that lopsided even at halftime, but a couple of Memphis turnovers handed the Cougars 10 points. The way the first half ended was probably especially demoralizing for Memphis, making it all the more impressive that the Tigers came back.
Houston coach Major Applewhite called three consecutive timeouts with the clock reading 0:01 in the second quarter, as Memphis kicker Riley Patterson lined up a 52-yard field goal. Applewhite’s triple-icing strategy worked out, with Patterson making some kicks that didn’t count and then sailing one wide left in live action.
That’ll stand as one of the funnier moments of the college football season — and a pretty good troll move on the part of the Cougars. But it didn’t turn out to be the most memorable part of a wild Thursday night in Houston.