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Marshall at Houston

Keenum sets passing mark as Houston whips Marshall

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Case Keenum hoisted the game ball at midfield, turned to his teammates gathered behind him and smiled to the applauding fans.

A few minutes later, he was already looking ahead to the next game - and milestone.

Keenum became the Football Bowl Subdivision's career leader in total offense on Saturday, throwing for 376 yards and tying his career high with six touchdown passes in No. 21 Houston's 63-28 win over Marshall.

The senior quarterback needed 130 yards to eclipse the record (16,910 yards) set by Hawaii's Tim Chang from 2000-04. He moved past Chang on a 30-yard pass to Justin Johnson with 3:56 left in the first quarter.

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"It's awesome, it's incredible," Keenum said. "It's very special, to be in a place like this, in front of a home crowd, and to be able to do that. Nobody else has been able to do that. It means a lot to me."

Keenum completed 24 of 28 passes -- including 15 in a row during one stretch -- and also crept closer to the major college football career records for passing yards and touchdown throws. He needs 802 passing yards to move ahead of Chang's record (17,072) and five TD passes to eclipse the mark (134) set by Texas Tech's Graham Harrell from 2005-08.

He was relieved to get the first record out of the way on Saturday, and thinks he'll feel the same about the others as Houston's season moves along.

"I've always used the mentality that, when I take a shower, it's all just going down the drain," he said. "Just like the water is going down the drain there, that's this past game. I'm just washing it off."

NCAA Career Passing Yards
Player, School Years Yards
Timmy Chang, Hawaii 2000-04 17,072
Case Keenum, Houston 2007-pre. 16,271
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 2005-08 15,793
Ty Detmer, BYU 1988-91 15,031
Colt Brennan, Hawaii 2005-07 14,193

Keenum says he's more focused on helping the Cougars keep their unblemised record. Houston (7-0, 3-0 Conference USA) has matched its best start since the 1990 squad won its first eight games, and this season is looking a lot like that one.

The Cougars finished 10-1 and led the nation in total offense (586.8 yards per game) that year, with David Klingler guiding the fast-paced run-and-shoot. Keenum is now leading the country's top offense (604 yards per game) and the Cougars are producing numbers just as eye-popping as those from 21 years ago.

Houston led 35-14 at halftime, and four of its five touchdown drives took less than 90 seconds.

"That's what our offense is capable of doing when we get going and rolling," Keenum said. "It's a lot of fun playing. That's kind of what you come out to play for, times like that."

A.J. Graham threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score for Marshall (3-5, 2-2), which lost handily despite gaining 506 yards and winning possession time by 24 minutes.

"The crazy thing," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said, "was that the one thing we tried to do was win the time of possession, and we did. The first half they had the ball for nine minutes, and we had it for 21, and the score is 35-14."

That's because Keenum was nearly perfect in the first half, completing 19 of 21 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns. He also never faced pressure from Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry, Conference USA's sacks leader.

The Cougars' offensive line didn't allow a sack, despite frequent blitzes by the Herd and 37 total pass attempts by Keenum and backup Cotton Turner.

"They came into the game knowing they wanted to pressure the quarterback," Houston coach Kevin Sumlin said. "I thought our offensive staff did an excellent job of adjusting during the game. That gave our team things we could execute against."

On Houston's third play from scrimmage, Keenum found Patrick Edwards down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown.

Officials initially threw a flag, ruling that Edwards stepped out of bounds before making the catch. Sumlin challenged the call and upon video review, officials ruled that Edwards was pushed out by a Marshall defender and the touchdown was allowed.

The Thundering Herd took five minutes off the clock with a 12-play, tying touchdown drive later in the first quarter.

Keenum set the total offense record on his next pass, hitting Johnson in stride over the middle. Keenum went 5-for-5 on the drive, and Tyron Carrier made a 12-yard touchdown reception. Carrier has a catch in 46 consecutive games, the nation's longest active streak.

Marshall tied it again, but Charles Sims broke a 51-yard run to the Herd's 18, then scored on a 6-yard run. Michael Hayes, Houston's leading rusher, turned two short passes from Keenum into long touchdowns later in the second quarter as the Cougars began stretching the lead.

Houston had 388 yards at the break.

"It's a good spot to be in, and that's what we're trying to get to every game," Keenum said. "We practice at that level, try to get into a groove, and try and stay in that groove for as long as possible."

Keenum has won 19 consecutive home starts and has 66 touchdown passes with only nine interceptions in that span. He's won 31 games overall as a starter, second only to Boise State's Kellen Moore (45) among active FBS quarterbacks.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Houston's Case Keenum throws for 376 yards to become the Football Bowl Subdivision's career leader in total offense. (AP)
Houston's Case Keenum throws for 376 yards to become the Football Bowl Subdivision's career leader in total offense. (AP)

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Scoring Summary
HOUPatrick Edwards 70 yd pass from Case Keenum (Matt Hogan kick)
MRSHLAaron Dobson 1 yd pass from A.J. Graham (Tyler Warner kick)
HOUTyron Carrier 12 yd pass from Case Keenum (Matt Hogan kick)
MRSHLAaron Dobson 17 yd pass from A.J. Graham (Tyler Warner kick)
HOUCharles Sims 6 yd run (Matt Hogan kick)
HOUMichael Hayes 49 yd pass from Case Keenum (Matt Hogan kick)
HOUMichael Hayes 35 yd pass from Case Keenum (Matt Hogan kick)
MRSHLA.J. Graham 6 yd run (Tyler Warner kick)
HOUJustin Johnson 17 yd pass from Case Keenum (Matt Hogan kick)
HOUDerrick Mathews 20 yd interception return (Matt Hogan kick)
HOUE.J. Smith 3 yd pass from Case Keenum (Matt Hogan kick)
HOUDaniel Spencer 10 yd pass from Cotton Turner (Matt Hogan kick)
MRSHLWayne Bonner 8 yd pass from Rakeem Cato (Tyler Warner kick)
Team Stats
First Downs2825
Third Down Efficiency9-175-8
Fourth Down Efficiency1-30-1
Plays-Net Yards86-50657-621
Passing Yds309479
Kick Return Yds12991
Punt Return Yds-40
Time of Poss.42:1517:45
Individual Stats
MRSHL: A.J. Graham 12-74, Tron Martinez 16-45, Travon Van 12-43, Essray Taliaferro 5-23, C.J. Crawford 1-11, Aaron Dobson 1-1
HOU: Charles Sims 7-75, Michael Hayes 5-20, Case Keenum 2-16, Cotton Turner 2-15, Braxton Welford 3-10, Randall Hollimon 1-6
MRSHL: A.J. Graham 27-35-257-2, Rakeem Cato 2-4-52-0
HOU: Case Keenum 24-28-376-0, Cotton Turner 5-9-103-0
MRSHL: Troy Evans 6-86, Antavious Wilson 6-79, Tommy Shuler 4-28, Aaron Dobson 4-20, Wayne Bonner 2-52, Gator Hoskins 2-23, Eric Frohnapfel 2-14, Jermaine Kelson 1-5, Travon Van 1-2, C.J. Crawford 1-0
HOU: Patrick Edwards 7-109, Tyron Carrier 7-97, Michael Hayes 3-90, Daniel Spencer 3-61, Justin Johnson 3-54, E.J. Smith 3-19, Charles Sims 2-40, Darian Lazard 1-9
Marshall2nd Conference USA East1-04-1
Houston1st American Athletic West2-05-0