HOUSTON (AP) — The Southern Jaguars knew they were going to have a hard test against the Houston Cougars.

Then, they went and made the challenge even tougher by committing four turnovers.

Ryan Jackson rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns to lead Houston to a 62-13 win over Southern in the season opener for both teams Friday night.

Southern's Dray Joseph finished 27 of 36 for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Samuel Altman caught four passes for 74 yards and a score and Willie Quinn had six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

"I know what those guys are capable of," Joseph said of Altman and Quinn. "It's just up to the opponents to know that Sam Altman and Willie Quinn are great guys. It's going to help us not allow defenses to double team Lee Doss."

The Jaguars committed four turnovers in the game - three fumbles and one interception - that Houston turned into 17 points.

"We probably had five drives where we shot ourselves in the foot," Southern head coach Dawson Odums said. "We had good opportunities, but we couldn't take advantage. You can't give a good football team a short field, especially, a major Division I team because they are going to capitalize on it."

Southern hung with the Cougars for much of the first half, but Houston finally broke away late in the first half en route to the blowout.

"When we were fresh, we were able to bend but not break," Odums said about the Jaguars' ability to keep the game close for much of the first half.

David Piland was 15 of 23 for 148 yards and a touchdown and John O'Korn threw for 107 yards and three touchdowns in a backup role. Kenneth Farrow added 97 yards on the ground for the Cougars, which piled up 627 yards of offense — 372 on the ground — in their first game in the American Athletic Conference.

Daniel Spencer caught nine passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score for Houston, which was penalized 14 times for 126 yards.

Jackson rushed for an 8-yard touchdown less than three minutes into the game to begin the scoring, and after the Jaguars cut Houston's lead to 13-6 on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Joseph to Altman with 8:26 left in the second quarter, the Cougars took just over two minutes to up the lead to 14 on Jackson's second touchdown of the game, this one from 15 yards out.

The Cougars extended the lead to 27-6 with 2:34 remaining before the half on a 10-yard pass from Piland to Deontay Greenberry that followed a Southern turnover on a punt return.

Spencer extended the lead to 34-6 with a 45-yard touchdown run on a reverse down the right sideline just 39 seconds into the second half.

Joseph would close the Jaguars back to within 21 on a 38-yard touchdown pass to Willie Quinn with 12:47 to go in the third.

Following a Tomme Mark interception of Joseph, O'Korn found Spencer for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 9:37 left in the third. O'Korn found Spencer again for an 11-yard score to begin the fourth. He added a touchdown pass of 9 yards to John Leday late in the fourth.

Justin Hicks went in from a yard out midway through the fourth for Houston's fourth rushing touchdown of the game.