Houston wins long-awaited opener despite 5 turnovers

HOUSTON (AP) — Marquez Stevenson had a 41-yard touchdown reception and a 97-yard score on a kickoff return, and Houston rolled past Tulane 49-31 on Thursday night in its long-awaited opener.

Houston (1-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) played its first game 53 days after the start of fall camp due to three games being called off due to opponents’ COVID-19 problems.

Clayton Tune was 20-of-33 passing for 319 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Houston. He also had one rushing score, and Stevenson caught five passes for 118 yards. The Cougars turned it over five times, four coming in the first half.

Freshman quarterback Michael Pratt made his first career start for Tulane (2-2, 0-2). He passed for 141 yards and one touchdown.

Tulane’s defense scored on two of Houston’s opening three drives. Macon Clark intercepted the fourth pass of the game and returned it 64 yards to open the scoring, and Jeffery Johnson recovered a fumble in the end zone to make it 14-7. The Green Wave led 24-21 at halftime despite being outgained 268-102.

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