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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Cougars make improbable comeback in Armed Forces Bowl

Marking the largest comeback in FBS play this year, the Houston Cougars toppled the Pittsburg Panthers 35-34 in Friday’s 2015 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl after recovering from a 25-point deficit.

The Cougars trailed 31-6 before scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter to capture a game that once seemed out of reach. UH recovered two onside kicks, before responding with touchdowns on both drives, including the go-ahead two-point conversion with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Quarterback Greg Ward tossed three touchdown passes and completed a two-point conversion in the final 3:41. Before the Cougars recovered their first onside kick, Ward connected with receiver Deontay Greenberry on an 8-yard touchdown pass. After another onside kick and 29-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Ayers on fourth-and-13, Ward found Greenberry again for a score with 59 seconds remaining to bring the Cougars within one point.

After Greenberry’s 25-yard touchdown reception, interim coach David Gibbs opted for a win-or-lose 2-point conversion try. Greenberry’s catch in the back of the end zone put the Cougars ahead for good.

Ward led the Cougars with 274 yards passing and three touchdowns.

The strength of Pittsburgh’s offensive line allowed the nationally acclaimed James Conner to start battling against the Houston defense, rushing for 90 yards and two touchdowns off of 21 carries.

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