NEW ORLEANS

It was a close game by halftime, and the Tulane Green Wave (1-5, 0-2 AAC) even took an early 22-17 lead over the Houston Cougars (5-1, 3-0) in third quarter, but the Cougars pulled together a furious rally of 24-straight unanswered points to knock off Tulane 40-22 to earn their fifth straight victory Thursday.

Green Wave QB Michael Pratt threw the ball 29 yards to wide receiver Will Wallace to give Tulane its first lead of the night at 22-17. Houston went three-and-out, and it didn’t look good for Houston.

But then D’Anthony Jones made the play of the game when he sacked Pratt and forced a fumble, which he ended up picking up. The momentum immediately shifted back to the Cougars.

The offense made good use of the defense’s turnover by driving down the field, but the offense had to settle for a field goal to cut Tulane’s lead to 22-20.

The Green Wave offense stalled for the rest of the second half. The offense had five drives remaining in the second half — three of which ended in a punt and the other two drives were turnovers on downs.

UH’s offense made its opponent pay with quarterback Clayton Tune finding Jeremy Singleton for a 29-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter to regain a 26-22 lead. Running back Ta’Zhawn Henry ran the ball for an 8-yard touchdown run to put the lead up to 33-22. In garbage time and to put the game out of reach, true freshman Alton McCaskill had a 35-yard run for a touchdown to put the game at 40-22.

UH started hot in the first quarter with Tune finding Christian Trahan for a 11-yard touchdown pass and Singleton for a 17-yard touchdown pass.

In the second quarter, Tulane cut Houston’s lead with a Pratt pass to Tyrick James for 13 yards, and Tulane converted the two-point conversion attempt. Cougar Dalton Witherspoon kicked a 46-yard field, and Tulane’s Tyjae Spears had a 39-yard touchdown run with 2:11 left in the second quarter to cut Houston’s lead to 17-15 at halftime.

Tune finished the game going 23-for-36 with 288 passing yards and three touchdowns. McCaskill had 18 caries for 93 yards and one touchdown. KeSean Carter had six receptions for 69 yards.

The Houston Cougars will return home for a bye week. The following week, the Cougars will take on the East Carolina Pirates (3-2, 1-0 AAC) on Oct. 23 at TDECU Stadium.

Keenan Betz: 409-683-5237, keenan.betz@galvnews.com or on Twitter @surebetkeenan.

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