28 - 63 Final
  for this game

Keenum has milestone day as Houston pounds Marshall

Oct 23, 2011 - 2:28 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - It was a record-setting day for Houston quarterback Case Keenum on Saturday.

Keenum threw for 376 yards and six touchdowns, passing former Hawaii star Timmy Chang's NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision career record for total offense en route to a 63-28 drubbing for the No. 21 Cougars over Marshall.

Charles Sims rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Hayes caught two touchdown passes and totaled 90 yards receiving for the Cougars (7-0, 3-0 C-USA).

Patrick Edwards, Tyron Carrier, Daniel Spencer and Justin Johnson all caught touchdown passes for Houston.

Keenum came into the game needing 130 yards to pass Chang (16,910). Keenum blew by that and now has 17,173 yards. He also tied his career high with six touchdown passes in the win and posted his 31st career 300-yard game while winning his 19th straight home game.

"To watch him grow over the last few years and be able to handle a lot of different things makes me really happy for him," Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin said of his quarterback. "You can see the maturity level of him as opposed to two years ago. He's always been a well-grounded guy and a tremendous leader. I'm really happy for him."

A.J. Graham threw for 256 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and backup Rakeem Cato tossed a touchdown pass for the Thundering Herd (3-5, 2-2).

Graham also ran for 74 yards and a score while Aaron Dobson caught four balls for 20 yards and two scores.

The Cougars came out of the gate fast and needed only three plays on the opening drive of the game to open the scoring. After the first two plays went for a total of a yard loss, Keenum found Edwards for a 70-yard touchdown strike, giving his team a 7-0 advantage.

With just under four minutes to go in the opening quarter, Marshall tied the game when Graham led his team on a 12-play, 89-yard drive, capped by his one- yard touchdown pass to Dobson.

On the ensuing Houston possession, Keenum found Johnson for a 30-yard completion up to the Marshall 41. Keenum completed his next three consecutive passes and finished off the five-play, 71-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Carrier for a 14-7 advantage.

Marshall knotted the game at 14 on its next drive with a six-play, 63 yard march, culminated by Graham's hook-up with Dobson, this time for a 17-yard touchdown pass.

On the ensuing Houston possession, Keenum led a seven-play, 88-yard drive. Sims finished it off with a six-yard touchdown run to put the Cougars up 21-14.

The Houston defense stood tall on Marshall's next possession, forcing a three- and-out and giving the ball back to the offense on the Marshall 49.

From there, Houston needed only one play -- a 49-yard strike from Keenum to Hayes -- to take a 14-point lead.

"They're good and they have done that to a lot of people. Unfortunately, they did it to us tonight," Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said of Houston's quick-strike offense. "The biggest disappointment for us tonight was that we didn't tackle very well. We pride ourselves in being great tacklers, but not tonight. We knew what we were facing and they very skilled."

Houston's defense forced another Marshall punt with just under six minutes left before halftime and the Cougars' offense got the ball back at their own 29. Houston got a break on the first play of the drive as Marshall was penalized 15 yards for a face mask infraction, moving the ball up to midfield. Three plays later, Keenum made the Thundering Herd pay for their mistake, as he found Hayes for a 35-yard touchdown and a 21-point lead.

Marshall was stymied at the Houston 1 to conclude the half as Tron Martinez was stuffed for a two-yard loss on fourth down.

After the break, Marshall pulled to within 35-21 on the opening drive of the third quarter. Graham led a 10-play, 79-yard drive -- highlighted by a huge 31-yard completion to Antavious Wilson on fourth down -- before Graham scampered for a six-yard touchdown run.

But Houston needed only two quick strikes on its ensuing possession -- one to Carrier for 43 yards and another to Johnson for a 17-yard touchdown pass to build the lead back to 42-21.

Graham was picked off by Derrick Mathews with just under five minutes to go in the third quarter and he returned it 20 yards for the score to make it 49-21.

Houston came up with another red zone stop with an interception and then scored on its next two possessions for a 63-21 blowout thanks to a Keenum TD pass and one from backup Cotton Turner.

Marshall finally answered when Cato connected with Bonner on an eight-yard touchdown pass.

Game Notes

Houston leads the all-time series between the teams, 2-1...Houston scored at least 14 points in each quarter...Carrier now has at least one catch in 46 consecutive games...Houston had 621 yards of offense to 506 for Marshall.