Joe Cooper kicked a 30-yard field goal on the opening drive of overtime today to give the Houston Oilers a 23-20 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh (7-7) lost its first overtime since the system was instituted in 1974.

Pittsburgh had tied the score, 20-20, with 5:04 left in regulation on Mark Malone's seven-yard scoring pass to Louis Lipps.

The Oilers (3-11) won the coin toss to start overtime and took over at their 24. Quarterback Warren Moon, who passed for 303 yards, moved Houston downfield, passing five times for 53 yards to put the ball on the Pittsburgh 26.

After one running play, Cooper, a midseason replacement for injured Florian Kempf, made his third field goal of the game, a 30-yarder.

The Steelers trailed, 13-3, at halftime as the Oilers scored on field goals of 19 and 38 yards by Cooper and Moon's five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cliff Dressel.

But Pittsburgh cut the margin midway through the third period. Taking over on their 15 after a punt, the Steelers scored in 10 plays, the drive ending on Malone's five-yard pass to Weegie Thompson.

Moon's third interception set up a 24-yard field goal by Gary Anderson that tied the score, 13-13.

Stan Edwards' five-yard touchdown and Cooper's extra point with 11:34 left put Houston up, 20-13. Pittsburgh 3 0 10 7 0 20 Houston 3 10 0 7 3 23 First Period

P -- FG Anderson 32, 7:20

H -- FG Cooper 19, 13:59 Second Period

H -- FG Cooper 38, 10:28

H -- Dressel 5 pass from Moon (Cooper kick), 14:39 Third Period

P -- Thompson 5 pass from Malone (Anderson kick), 7:48

P -- FG Anderson 24, 12:15 Fourth Period

H -- Edwards 5 run (Cooper kick), 3:16

P -- Lipps 7 pass from Malone (Anderson kick), 9:56 Overtime Period

H -- FG Cooper 30, 5:53

A -- 39,781 Steelers Oilers First downs 14 23 Rushes-yards 30-127 33-121 Passing yards 145 303 Return yards 82 61 Passing 16-33-2 27-45-3 Sacks by-yards 0-0 4-48 Punts-average 6-41 7-37 Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 4-29 7-70 Time of possession 29:44 35:59 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING -- Pittsburgh: Pollard 15-57, Abercrombie 10-39, Lipps 1-31, Malone 3-0, Colquitt 1-0. Houston: Edwards 25-79, Moon 3-35, Joiner 5-7.

PASSING -- Pittsburgh: Malone 16-33-2, 193 yards. Houston: Moon 27-45-3, 303.

RECEIVING -- Pittsburgh: Stallworth 6-113, Lipps 4-43, Abercrombie 4-18, Erenberg 1-14, Thompson 1-5. Houston: Smith 7-108, Holston 7-61, Edwards 5-35, Walls 3-32, Bryant 2-31, J. Williams 1-20, McCloskey 1-11, Dressel 1-5. Oilers' Kick Stops Steelers In Overtime From News Services

HOUSTON, Dec. 2 -- Joe Cooper kicked a 30-yard field goal on the opening drive of overtime today to give the Houston Oilers a 23-20 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh (7-7) lost its first overtime since the system was instituted in 1974.

Pittsburgh had tied the score, 20-20, with 5:04 left in regulation on Mark Malone's seven-yard scoring pass to Louis Lipps.

The Oilers (3-11) won the coin toss to start overtime and took over at their 24. Quarterback Warren Moon, who passed for 303 yards, moved Houston downfield, passing five times for 53 yards to put the ball on the Pittsburgh 26.

After one running play, Cooper, a midseason replacement for injured Florian Kempf, made his third field goal of the game, a 30-yarder.

The Steelers trailed, 13-3, at halftime as the Oilers scored on field goals of 19 and 38 yards by Cooper and Moon's five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cliff Dressel.

But Pittsburgh cut the margin midway through the third period. Taking over on their 15 after a punt, the Steelers scored in 10 plays, the drive ending on Malone's five-yard pass to Weegie Thompson.

Moon's third interception set up a 24-yard field goal by Gary Anderson that tied the score, 13-13.

Stan Edwards' five-yard touchdown and Cooper's extra point with 11:34 left put Houston up, 20-13.