The University of Houston Football team closed its non-conference schedule with a 38-7 win over Sam Houston on Saturday night at TDECU Stadium. The Cougars snapped a two-game losing skid while posting a season-high 538 yards of offense in the contest.
Freshman running back Parker Jenkins became the first Cougar in program history to rush for three touchdowns in his first start – with all coming in the first half. He became the 15th Houston player with 3+ rushing scores in a half. Jenkins also matched the program record for rushing touchdowns by a freshman.
Junior quarterback Donovan Smith narrowly missed out on his first 300-yard passing game as a Cougar, tallying 294 yards while going 31-for-40 with a touchdown. Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Ui Ale used his second collegiate pass to throw a 58-yard touchdown, Houston's longest offensive play of the year.
Defensively, senior defensive lineman David Ugwoegbu paced the Cougars with five tackles while also posting a forced fumble while junior defensive back Isaiah Hamilton hauled in his second interception of the year.
Houston opened the game with a 13-play, 69-yard drive that ended with junior Jack Martin splitting the uprights from 23 yards out to put the Cougars up 3-0. Sam Houston responded on its opening drive, briefly taking a 7-3 lead on a 2-yard rush from Trapper Pannell.
The Cougars wasted no time in answering as Jenkins carried in his first touchdown, a 2-yard scramble, that gave Houston a 10-7 lead it would never relinquish. Jenkins would ultimately carry in two more touchdowns in the first half, a 1-yard rush with 7:22 left and another 2-yard score to put Houston up 24-7 at the break.
Houston continued to cruise in the second half. Smith earned his first passing touchdown of the game in the Cougars' first drive of the third quarter, finding sophomore Matthew Golden for a 6-yard touchdown. Ale capped Houston's scoring in the fourth quarter, sending his first collegiate completion to sophomore Stacy Sneed for a 58-yard touchdown, Houston's longest offensive play of the season, cementing the Cougars' 38-7 win.
Houston will meet Texas Tech at 2:30 p.m., Sept. 30, inside Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. It will be the Cougars' first Big 12 road game.