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Keenum throws 9 TD passes, sets another record as Houston rolls

Oct 28, 2011 - 5:30 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Case Keenum put on a historic performance Thursday night, throwing for 534 yards and nine touchdowns to lead the 18th- ranked Houston Cougars to a 73-34 victory over the Rice Owls.

During last weekend's 63-28 rout of Marshall, Keenum set a pair of NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision records. He passed former Hawaii star Timmy Chang's career total offense mark and surpassed former Central Michigan QB Dan Lefevour's TD's accounted for record.

The star QB came into Thursday's game needing just five touchdown passes to set the passing touchdowns record. Keenum had little trouble doing that, as he broke former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell's record of 134 with a TD pass early in the third quarter.

"It's fun. We had a bunch tonight. They should hand out game balls to everyone after the game," Keenum said.

Keenum now has 139 career TD passes for the Cougars (8-0, 4-0 C-USA), who have equaled their best start in school history. The 1990 and '79 clubs also started 8-0.

Keenum completed 24-of-37 passes for Houston, which has scored at least 35 points in eight straight games.

Patrick Edwards was Keenum's favorite target, catching seven passes for 318 yards and five scores. Tyron Carrier hauled in seven passes for 85 yards and a touchdown, while Charles Sims caught four passes for 73 yards and two scores.

"It's always fun to be a part of Case's records. We're just out there doing our job and making him look good," Edwards said.

Nick Fanuzzi completed 3-of-9 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown for the Owls (2-6, 1-4), who have lost three in a row. Taylor McHargue connected on 3-of-8 passes for 27 yards.

Tyler Smith carried the ball 13 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns for Rice. He also caught three passes for 73 yards and a score.

"They are a good offensive football team led by a senior quarterback," Rice head coach David Bailiff said. "They made plays that they had to, and we made plays that we needed to stop them. We had some opportunities that we didn't get done."

Carrier started the game with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

But Rice scored 17 unanswered points to take the lead. Chris Boswell made a 51-yard field goal, Smith rumbled into the end zone from one-yard out and Cameron Nwosu returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-7 with 14 seconds to go in the first quarter.

Edwards caught a 57-yard TD pass as time expired in the first period to cut the gap to three.

Boswell added a 40-yarder to give the Owls a 20-14 edge early in the second stanza.

The Cougars responded with 38 unanswered points to turn the game into a rout.

After Matt Hogan made a 33-yard field goal, Carrier hauled in a 21-yard TD pass to give Houston a 24-20 lead midway through the second.

Edwards and Justin Johnson each caught a touchdown pass before the half to make it a 38-20 game.

Keenum's record-setting toss came with 11:35 to play in the third quarter -- a 41-yard strike to Sims. Keenum, a sixth-year senior, quickly added another TD pass with a 20-yard pass to Sims for a 52-27 margin.

Smith and Edwards each had two scores before the third period ended.

Edwards caught a 47-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

Houston leads the all-time series with Rice, 27-11...Keenum was granted a sixth year of NCAA eligibility after tearing his ACL last season. He has an NCAA-record 17,692 yards of total offense during his career. With 534 passing yards, Keenum moved closer to another NCAA record. Keenum now has 16,805 passing yards to rank second behind Chang, who set the NCAA career passing record with 17,072 yards from 2000 to 2004...The Cougars' 73 points ties the single-game total under head coach Kevin Sumlin.