1:00 PM ET, November 15, 2003
Michie Stadium, WEST POINT, NY
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- Looking to end a three-game losing streak and secure a bowl bid, Houston couldn't have asked for a better opponent.
Kevin Kolb passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns in Houston's 34-14 victory over Army on Saturday, the Black Knights' 13th straight loss.
"It's a hard game to get to, to get that bowl eligibility because so many people fight for it," Houston coach Art Briles said. "I'm just proud of our players for having strength, belief and attitude. We're there."
Army (0-11, 0-8) also has lost 13 straight home games. It last recorded a victory here on Oct. 27, 2001, beating Tulane 42-35.
"We have the utmost respect for Army," Middleton said. "The real motivation was getting over that three-game losing streak. In the past, Houston teams have caved in. We handled it better than we did before. We wanted to get that momentum swing."
Houston dominated offensively and defensively, amassing 561 yards and holding Army to 208 yards and 10 first downs. Kolb, a freshman, was 24-of-28 and scrambled for 45 yards.
Using short passes and rushing 71 times, the Cougars kept possession of the ball for 39:05, compared to 20:55 for Army. Army was held to just 10 yards on the ground.
"We thought we'd be able to run the football better," Army interim coach John Mumford said. "They did a great job on first down blitzing us, twisting up front and getting us in second-and-long.
"Houston's offense is very prolific and we knew it was going to be a war of attrition one way or the other defensively."
William White had two TD catches for Army. He caught five passes for 150 yards, a career high.
In the first half, Army quarterback Reggie Nevels was under constant pressure, getting sacked five times and going 2-for-8 for 92 yards and one touchdown. His second-half replacement, Zac Dahman, went 9-of-21 for 106 yards and one TD.
The Black Knights scored the game's first TD when Nevels hit White with a 60-yard TD pass halfway through the first quarter. It was the lone completion for Nevels in the first quarter.
It was all Houston after that.
The Cougars responded with a nine-play, 73-yard drive capped by a 3-yard TD run by Evans.
Houston scored its second TD on a 35-yard TD pass from Kolb to Middleton with 7:28 left in the second quarter. The touchdown ended a 79-yard drive.
"We had to pick them apart there and put together some drives," Kolb said. "We couldn't really hit them with the deep bombs. Once we put together the drives and I ran a bit, it opened things up for Brandon and the receivers."
Dustin Bell hit a 26-yard field goal and added a 20-yard effort with a second left in the quarter to give Houston a 20-7 lead.
Houston struck for another TD with 10:46 remaining in the third quarter when Middleton outmaneuvered tight coverage to catch a 50-yard pass from Kolb. It was Middleton's 11th TD catch on the year.
Bobby Tillman added a touchdown on an 8-yard run with 7:38 left in the quarter.
Army ended its scoring drought on a 10-yard TD pass from Dahman to White with 11:02 left in the game.
"The only thing I want to do is win," White said. "It's nice to have a pretty good game, but in the end all I want to do is win."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-19||2-15|
|4th Down Conversions||3-4||0-2|
|TD||7:57||WILLIAM WHITE 60 YD PASS FROM REGGIE NEVELS (ANTHONY ZURISKO KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 62 yards.
|TD||5:07||ANTHONY EVANS 3 YD RUN (DUSTIN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 73 yards.
|TD||7:28||BRANDON MIDDLETON 35 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (DUSTIN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 79 yards.
|FG||3:08||DUSTIN BELL 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 72 yards.
|FG||0:01||DUSTIN BELL 20 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yards.
|TD||10:46||BRANDON MIDDLETON 50 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (DUSTIN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 50 yards.
|TD||7:38||BOBBY TILLMAN 8 YD RUN (DUSTIN BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 59 yards.
|TD||11:02||WILLIAM WHITE 10 YD PASS FROM ZAC DAHMAN (ANTHONY ZURISKO KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 73 yards.