Matt Vogler passed for an NCAA-record 690 yards, and his team lost. That's because David Klingler threw seven touchdown passes for the other guys.
Sixth-ranked Houston remained the only Division I-A team without a loss or tie, trouncing Texas Christian, 56-35, Saturday and extending the nation's longest winning streak to 12 games.
The Cougars, who are on probation and cannot go to a bowl, at least figure to move up in the ratings because No. 1 Virginia, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 Auburn and No. 5 Illinois all lost. Houston won this time when Klingler capped his big day with three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
"That's not as much on my mind as the Texas game next week," Klingler said.
Houston is 7-0 in the Southwest Conference and could wrap up a perfect conference record with a victory at Texas on Saturday.
Vogler, a transfer from Auburn, filled in for injured Leon Clay and completed 44 of an NCAA-record 79 passes, including five touchdowns. He broke the mark of 631 yards by Utah's Scott Mitchell in 1988 against Air Force.
"You can take all these numbers and throw them out the window," Vogler said. "Without a victory, they mean nothing. I'd rather have the game."
Vogler outdueled Klingler, the nation's leader in total offense, in yardage from the beginning.
"I had confidence going into the ballgame, but there's no question my confidence level went up as the day went along," Vogler said. "My offensive line and the receivers made it all possible. I have to give them the credit."
Vogler helped TCU pull into a 28-28 tie with 7:15 left in the third quarter. But Klingler, who overcame four interceptions and completed 36 of 53 passes for 563 yards, helped Houston improve to 8-0 overall.
"It was a great job by our players. They rallied around each other," Houston Coach John Jenkins said. "We have six freshmen playing regularly on defense. Three of our four starters in the secondary are down. Guys like (Daniel) Johnson and (Jamie) Mouton played well today."
Chuck Weatherspoon, who became Houston's all-time leading rusher during the game, caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Klingler in the third quarter and ran four yards for another score with 12:31 to play to break the Horned Frogs' challenge.
After falling behind 28-14 at the half, Vogler rallied the Horned Frogs (5-3, 3-2) in the third quarter, capitalizing on interceptions by Tony Rand and Larry Brown to set up touchdown passes of five yards to Kelly Blackwell and 10 yards to Stephen Shipley to make it 28-28.
It took Klingler four plays to get the Cougars back in the lead with the 46-yard touchdown pass to Weatherspoon, who caught the ball in the flat, eluded two tacklers to get to the sideline and plunged into the end zone.
Weatherspoon had a 17-yard run to start the drive that moved him into first place on the Houston all-time rushing list. He had 178 yards in 17 carries, boosting his career total to 3,008 yards.
Vogler hit Richard Woodley with a 15-yard touchdown pass and Klingler came back with two more touchdown passes, both to Marcus Grant, for 59 and two yards.
Klingler opened the record show by getting the Cougars a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with touchdown passes of 25 yards to Patrick Cooper and 42 yards to Grant.
Vogler, playing for Clay, who is out for the season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand, victimized Houston's inexperienced secondary with touchdown bombs of 80 yards to Cedric Jackson in the first quarter and 88 yards to Kyle McPherson in the second quarter for a 14-14 tie.
After TCU tied the score, the Cougars scored twice over the next 1:36 with Klingler hitting touchdown passes of eight yards to Weatherspoon and 36 yards to John Brown III for a 28-14 halftime lead.
The combined 1,563 yards by both teams broke the NCAA record of 1,436 yards by Arizona State and Stanford in 1981.
* STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS: See Spotlight (below, column 5).
Quarterback Cmp. Att. Yds. TD MATT VOGLER 44 79 690* 5 DAVID KLINGLER 36 53 563 7
* NCAA record