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Tigers score 42 second half points and rally for a stunning 42-38 win over Houston

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HOUSTON – Riley Ferguson threw for 471 yards and had a 21-yard TD pass with 1:28 left, Patrick Taylor rushed for a career-high four touchdowns and No. 25 Memphis overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Houston 42-38 on Thursday night.

Ferguson was 33 of 53 and found Sean Dykes to cap an 8-play, 80-yard drive that took 1:49 to give Memphis (6-1, 3-1 American) its only lead. Anthony Miller caught 10 passes for 178 yards, and Tony Pollard had nine catches for 91 yards.

Memphis finished with 501 yards.

Houston (4-3, 2-2) was driving when Kyle Postma fumbled at the Memphis 49, with T.J. Carter recovering with a minute remaining. After Memphis punted, Postma’s pass was intercepted by Carter with 24 seconds remaining to end the game.

Dillon Birden finished with 126 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, and Duke Catalon rushed for 65 yards and a career-high three touchdowns as Houston built a 17-0 lead at the half.

The Cougars led 38-28 with 6:44 left after Postma found Steven Dunbar for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Taylor cut the lead to three with a 5-yard run with 5:14 left. After Memphis forced a Houston three-and-out, Ferguson capped the comeback.

Postma finished 29 of 40 for 315 yards, and Linell Bonner caught eight passes for 121 yards for Houston. The Cougars had 554 yards.


Memphis: The Tigers should remain ranked for another week and could rise in the rankings following the comeback win.


Memphis: The Tigers were out of sync offensively and couldn’t complete drives in the first half, going scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2012. Memphis made adjustments at the half and looked much sharper in all three phases in the second half to complete the come back.

Houston: The Cougars proved again they are able to get up for big games against ranked foes, but were unable to play a complete game. After allowing 38 second half points last week against Tulsa, Houston allowed 42 points in the second half Thursday.


Memphis: The Tigers host Tulane Oct. 27 in the second of three consecutive non-Saturday games.

Houston: Travels to No. 16 South Florida on Oct. 28 for a game that was originally scheduled for Nov. 4 but was moved up to accommodate other schedule changes in the American following Hurricane Irma.