HOUSTON -- 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.
College football Week 13 betting nuggets
Here are numbers you can use to analyze this week's biggest games, including Alabama hosting Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Colorado State Rams-Air Force Falcons football game canceled
Thursday's Colorado State at Air Force football game has been called off because of an uptick in COVID-19 cases within the Rams program.
Kentucky Wildcats already down 18 players for game vs. Florida Gators due to coronavirus
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said the team "can't afford any more" personnel losses ahead of its scheduled game at No. 6 Florida as it goes through another round of COVID-19 testing on Thursday morning.
USC Trojans resume practice as football game vs. Colorado Buffaloes still on
One additional Trojans player tested positive for the coronavirus and five others have been placed into quarantine after being designated as close contacts.
How will Saban's isolation impact Iron Bowl and beyond?
AL.com Senior Sports Editor John Talty joins The Paul Finebaum Show to discuss the potentially prolonged impact of Alabama head coach Nick Saban's quarantine.
Shane Beamer to interview for South Carolina football coach vacancy, sources say
Backed by some big names, Oklahoma assistant head coach for offense Shane Beamer will interview for the South Carolina head coaching vacancy and is a strong candidate for the job, sources told ESPN.