HOUSTON - Senior wide receiver Noel Thomas, Jr. (Norwalk, Conn.) had a career-high 135 yards receiving redshirt junior quarterback Bryant Shirreffs (Jefferson, Ga.) passed for 239 as Houston handed the Huskies a 42-14 defeat on Thursday night before a crowd of 40,873 at TDECU Stadium.
Houston, currently ranked sixth in the country, is now 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the American Athletic Conference while the Huskies drop to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the league.
Thomas now has 129 career receptions, which is ninth in school career history, and 1,579, which is 12th.
Sophomore wide receiver Hergy Mayala (Montreal, Que.) also had six receptions for 92 yards - both career highs.
Junior Vontae Diggs (Downers Grove, Ill.) had a career-high 12 tackles to lead UConn while senior Obi Melinfonwu (South Grafton, Mass) had 11 for his four-straight double-figure tackle game.
Greg Ward Jr. threw for a career-high 389 yards and accounted for five touchdowns in just more than three quarters. The victory was a bit of redemption for the Cougars, whose only loss last season came in a 20-17 defeat by the Huskies when they were 10-0.
Ward didn't start that game, and there was a moment early in the second quarter when he took a hard hit on a flea-flicker and had to leave the game. He missed just one play before returning and showed no ill effects, leading the Cougars on three more touchdown drives in the half to leave Houston up 28-7 at halftime.
Ward had touchdown runs of 30 and 10 yards and threw scoring passes of three, 15 and four yards. He was replaced by Kyle Postma with 12 minutes remaining.
The Huskies didn't commit any turnovers after being plagued by them in recent weeks.
UConn returns to action when it takes on Cincinnati on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. Kickoff is 11:30 a.m. and the game will be seen on the CBS Sports Network and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
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