Quick injury note as Penn State and Houston begin the second half of the TicketCity Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas; Cougars wide receiver Tyron Carrier will not return after a second quarter injury.
Penn State takes the second half kickoff and deploys wide receiver Bill Belton as a wildcat quarterback, and those sets pick up a few first downs into Houston territory. Quarterback Rob Bolden then fumbles the first snap of the fourth set of downs, then nearly throws a pick on second down. On 3rd-and-11, he's finally picked off at the Houston 4-yard, which might not be a terrible thing, as an incompletion would have forced a punt that may not have given Penn State such a field position advantage. Regardless, the Nittany Lions have their momentum killed once again.
Houston takes over and quarterback Case Keenum casually goes over 400 yards for the day with a couple of passes up to the Penn State 37-yardline. Penn State forces a punt near midfield, though, and lives to fight another offensive drive.
Back in possession, Penn State again uses Belton in the wildcat and that leads to a first down. The coaches go back to a standard set on the next set of downs to predictably lame results. Silas Redd is bottled up for a short gain before Bolden is hit from behind on second down. The Houston defense finishes off the drive by forcing an incompletion to draw a Penn State punt.
Houston gets the ball back and quickly moves past midfield down to the Penn State 28-yardline with a run by Charles Sims. The drive stalls, but the Cougars pick up three points with a 38-yard field goal by Matt Hogan.
With 4:21 to play in the third quarter, Houston leads 27-7.