Houston freshman Logan Holgorsen threw for 123 yards and a touchdown in his first start and the Cougars held off UConn 24-17 on Saturday.
Holgorsen, the son of coach Dana Holgorsen, had just 37 yards passing before finding Jeremy Singleton wide open down the left sideline for 58-yards and a third-quarter touchdown that put the Cougars ahead for good.
Houston (3-4, 1-2 American) stretched the lead with a late 13-play touchdown drive that ended with a 2-yard run from Bryson Smith.
UConn freshman Jack Zergiotis, who threw for 270 yards, hit Art Tompkins for a 7-yard touchdown with 1:40 left, but the Huskies failed to recover the on-side kick.
Kevin Mensah rushed for 93 yards for UConn (1-6, 0-4), which suffered its sixth straight loss, 22nd straight to a Bowl Subdivision team and 15th straight in the American Athletic Conference.
The Huskies held the ball for 36 minutes and outgained Houston 438-284, but managed just one other touchdown. That came in the second quarter when Zergiotis hit Matt Drayton over the middle for a 17-yard score that put the Huskies up 7-3, giving them their first lead since September.
The Huskies had a third-quarter drive stopped at the 2-yard line after a 58-yard run from Mensah.
The Cougars had a 10-7 lead at halftime after an interception by linebacker Donavan Mutin, set up a 12-yard run touchdown run from Kyle Porter. Porter finished with 60 yards on 15 carries.
Smith tossed a pass to Jeremey Singleton out of the wildcat formation that went for 45 yards and set up Houston's first score, a 42-yard field goal.
Holgorsen got the start over Clayton Tune, who suffered a hamstring injury in practice. D'Eriq King, who was touted as a Heisman candidate before the season, was asked to redshirt after a 1-3 start to the season.
Houston needs to win three more games in its final five games to become bowl eligible for the seventh straight season.
UConn's last win against a Bowl Subdivision team came against Tulsa on Oct. 21, 2017, that also was their last win in the American Conference.
Houston: The Cougars have a short week. They return home to face No. 19 SMU on Thursday night.
UConn: The Huskies travel to Massachusetts for what has become known as the U-Game against UMass.