Ward was 29 of 33 for 268 yards without an interception for the Cougars (4-3, 2-1 American Athletic).
Ward started the third-quarter scoring burst with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Deontay Greenberry with 1:42 left. On the next play from scrimmage, Howard Wilson intercepted P.J. Walker's pass at the 26 to set up Ward's 30-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Jackson that completed the scoring.
Greenberry had 10 catches for 63 yards, and Markeith Ambles added six receptions for 96 yards. Ryan Jackson led the Cougars in rushing with 75 yards on 18 carries.
Walker was 12 of 29 for 259 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions for Temple (4-2, 2-1). Jahad Thomas had three catches for 150 yards.
Temple missed a chance to tie it early in the third quarter when Walker fumbled at the goal line a play after Thomas went 74 yards on a screen pass.
Rice's Austin Jones kicked a 22-yard field goal on the last play of the first quarter, and Houston opened a 17-3 lead on Kenneth Farrow's 4-yard run. Rice rebounded on Walker's 39-yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood with 34 seconds left in the half on a play that was reversed by replay after being called incomplete.