MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Gary Ward Jr., making his first start at quarterback, threw for a touchdown and ran 64 yards for another in leading Houston over Memphis 28-24 on Saturday night for the program's 400th victory.
Ward threw a 25-yarder to Markeith Ambles for Houston's first lead, 28-21, with 13:34 left. Memphis (3-3, 1-1 American) followed by driving to the Cougars 3 before settling for a field goal.
Ward was a backup quarterback last season before primarily playing wide receiver this year. He replaced the benched John O'Korn. Ward had 168 yards passing with an interception and 95 yards rushing.
Paxton Lynch passed for 243 yards and two scores and ran for another, but was intercepted three times, twice by Oliphant. There were eight turnovers, five by Memphis.