Charles Sims ran for three touchdowns as Houston defeated Rice 35-14 for its first win of the season Saturday afternoon in Reliant Stadium. Sims scored on a 3-yard run and a 47-yard run that put the Cougars up 28-0 in the third quarter. He would later make a 16-yard run for his third touchdown. David Piland was 26 of 43 for 361 yards and two touchdowns, including a 31-yard pass to Daniel Spencer and a 25-yard pass to Larry McDuffey.
Rice scored in the third quarter when Sam McGuffie caught a 24-yard pass from Driphus Jackson. The two connected again for a touchdown on an 88-yard pass.
Houston (1-3, 1-0) opened its final season of Conference USA play before moving to the Big East.
Rice (1-4, 0-2) had hoped to rebound from an overtime loss to Marshall.
With the win, the University of Houston keeps the Bayou Bucket, the annual prize awarded to the winner of the Rice-UH game.