Smith, Jenkins lead Houston in 38-7 win over Sam Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — Donovan Smith threw for 294 yards and a touchdown, Parker Jenkins rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns and Houston beat Sam Houston State 38-7 on Saturday night.

Smith completed 31 of 40 passing and Jenkins had rushing touchdowns of 4, 1 and 2 yards in the first half as the Cougars (2-2) built a 24-7 lead.

“He seemed pretty ready to me,” Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said of the freshman Jenkins. “He has a chance to be a special player. First start. First 100 yard game. I think we’ll see a lot of that from Parker Jenkins here.”

Matthew Golden caught nine passes for 92 yards and a score, and Stacy Sneed added three receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown for Houston, totaling 538 yards of offense.

Houston entered with back-to-back losses to Rice and TCU.

“We needed a little confidence, we needed a little momentum right now,” Holgorsen said. “The last two weeks have been tough. They didn’t blink. Our coaches and our players didn’t blink.”

Grant Gunnell completed 14 of 22 passes for 100 yards for Sam Houston (0-3). Trapper Pannell rushed for a 2-yard touchdown with six minutes left in the first quarter, the Bearcats’ first touchdown of the season.

Sam Houston picked up three points in early-season losses to BYU and Air Force.

“It felt good to finally put something together and score some points and give the offense some confidence,” Sam Houston coach K.C. Keeler said. “I thought we did a good job at times of getting the ball out of our hands quickly, but there were times when we struggled with (Houston’s) talent offensively.”

Sam Houston, who is in his first year at the FBS level, finished with 178 yards.

“I think we played really well the first two weeks, but sometimes the losses add up,” Keeler said. “I thought we did some of the things that losing teams do. … We did some very uncharacteristic things. There are a lot of mistakes in defense.”


Sam Houston: The Bearcats struggled to get a drive going after their first drive went 83 yards in seven plays. Sam Houston had 13 plays for nine yards over the remainder of the first half. … The Bearcats were hurt by penalties and finished the game 10 for 91 yards.

Houston: With the exception of Sam Houston’s opening drive, the Cougars dominated on defense, committing two turnovers and two sacks. … Houston finished with 11 carries for 95 yards. … The Cougars finished seven of 13 on third downs and had 26 first downs.


Sam Houston: Host Jacksonville State on Thursday in their first Conference USA game.

Houston: Travel to Texas Tech on Saturday.

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