True freshman John O’Korn threw five touchdown passes, including three to Deontay Greenberry, to lead the Houston Cougars to a 49-14 dismantling of Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.
The Cougars defense forced six turnovers in the game, overcoming a slow start to shut out the Scarlet Knights over the final 2 ½ quarters.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 6-1 overall and remained in a first-place tie with Central Florida at 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference.
UH scored touchdowns on seven of eight possessions between the second and third quarters on the way to 611 yards total offense.
O’Korn, coming off his worst game of the season in last week’s loss to BYU, was 24-of-30 for 364 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.
With the game tied at 14 midway through the second quarter, O’Korn hooked up with Greenberry across the middle for an 83-yard touchdown. Greenberry finished with eight catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns.
From that point, the Cougars were off to the races, scoring 35 unanswered points.
Daniel Spencer had six receptions for 117 yards for the Cougars, who reached bowl eligibility after missing out following last year’s 5-7 finish.
The Cougars also had 211 yards on the ground against a Rutgers defense that entered the game No. 2 nationally in rushing defense. Backup quarterback Greg Ward had 91 yards, and Kenneth Farrow added 74 yards, including a 40-yard run in the second quarter.
The Cougars had five interceptions – three thrown by Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova – in the game, including two each by Turon Walker and Adrian McDonald.
Rutgers running back Justin Goodwin had 161 yards rushing and both touchdowns for the Scarlet Knights, but only 25 rushing yards after halftime.