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Keenum, Houston rebound vs. Mississippi State

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Case Keenum threw four touchdown passes, two to James Cleveland and two to Tyron Carrier, as Houston rebounded to beat Mississippi State 31-24 on Saturday.

Houston (4-1), coming off a loss to Texas-El Paso that knocked the Cougars from their first Top 25 ranking in 18 years, overcame a slow start.

The Bulldogs (2-4) intercepted Keenum twice -- one that Charles Mitchell returned 71 yards for a touchdown -- and sacked him once.

Still, Keenum completed 39 of 52 attempts for 434 yards.

The Cougars had 553 yards in total offense but were tied 17-17 going into the fourth quarter.

Keenum capped a 78-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring pass to Cleveland to put Houston ahead 24-17.

The Bulldogs came right back and appeared to tie the score when Anthony Dixon leapt into the end zone with 4:57 left. But a holding penalty nullified the TD and a fumble by Tyson Lee gave the ball back to Houston.

Less than a minute later, Keenum found Carrier from 18 yards out and the Cougars were up 31-17.

Dixon had 134 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. He had a 50-yard TD run in the second quarter, much of it draped with Houston defenders, to put Mississippi State up 14-7.