Keenum Buries Penn State
Case Keenum put an emphatic end to his record-setting career. Penn State was just glad to put an end to its most tumultuous season in school annals.
Keenum, a sixth-year senior, passed for 532 yards and three touchdowns as No. 19 Houston swamped the 22nd-ranked Nittany Lions, 30-14, in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas Monday.
Keenum threw for 380 yards in the first half and Patrick Edwards caught 10 passes for 228 yards and scores of 40 and 75 yards for the Cougars (12-1), who were playing in their sixth bowl game in seven years.
The contest concluded a season in which the Penn State program was rocked by a child sex scandal surrounding former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky which resulted in the ouster of head coach Joe Paterno, president Graham Spanier, AD Tim Curley, assistant coach Mike McQueary and another high-ranking school official.
The Lions, who are being coached by defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, are in the process of a time-consuming search to find Paterno's replacement. Penn State had not played in a bowl without Paterno as either an assistant or head coach since 1948.
To make matters worse, in the last few weeks starting quarterback Matt McGloin sustained a concussion during a locker room fight with wide receiver Curtis Drake and reserve quarterback Rob Bolden was arrested for retail theft.
McGloin did not play and Bolden, who started the first seven games but completed just 42.2 percent of his passes, struggled mightily.
Houston too was playing less than 100 percent, as head coach Kevin Sumlin left the program for Texas A&M. In four years under Sumlin, the Cougars were tops among all FBS schools in scoring (42.9) and total offense (553.0), and they didn't seem to miss a beat in this one.
Using the famed no-huddle offense, Keenum drove the Cougars to 17 points on their first three possessions, throwing for over 200 yards in the first quarter alone against the nation's fifth-ranked pass defense (162.0). The FBS all-time leader in passing yards (19,217) and TDs (155) completed 45-of-69 passes with three touchdowns without an interception. The first 25 Cougar plays were passes.
Bolden didn't complete a pass or garner a first down during the decisive first quarter and completed just 7-of-26 passes for 137 yards with one TD and three interceptions.
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