(Saturday, September 10th)
Final Score: Houston 48, North Texas 23
Denton, TX (Sports Network) - Senior quarterback Case Keenum threw for 458 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Houston Cougars to a 48-23 win over the North Texas Mean Green in non-conference action.
Keenum completed 26-of-41 passes for Houston (2-0) as the team generated 690 yards of total offense. Senior receiver Patrick Edwards caught eight passes for 187 yards and one score, while fellow senior wideout Justin Johnson added two more touchdown catches in the third quarter that allowed the Cougars to pull away.
Quarterback Derek Thompson completed 21-of-33 for 172 yards and a touchdown to lead North Texas (0-2), which opened its brand-new Apogee Stadium in Denton and had the energy to keep up with Houston early in the game.
North Texas struck first on an 10-yard touchdown run by Andrew McNulty in the first quarter, but from there the Cougars ripped off 17 straight, beginning with a 25-yard field goal by Matt Hogan.
Later in the first frame Keenum hooked up with Isaiah Sweeney on a 28-yard touchdown pass play to make the score 10-7 in favor of the visitors. With just 18 seconds remaining in the first period Michael Hayes capped a six-play, 35- yard drive with a one-yard TD run to push the lead to 17-7.
At the 8:19 mark of the second quarter, UNT responded with a five-yard TD pass play between Thompson and Andrew Power, while a 39-yard field goal from Zach Olen locked the score at 17-17.
On the ensuing drive the Cougars marched 70 yards on eight plays in just 1:18 and squeezed out a 27-yard field goal from Hogan to give Houston a 20-17 advantage at the break.
Keenum took over in the second half for the Cougars, tossing touchdown passes of 32 and 17 yards to Johnson in the third period and a 46-yard effort to Edwards with 3:17 to play in the quarter. Early in the fourth quarter Keenum struck again, this time with a 21-yard touchdown strike to Hayes to make the score 48-17.
The Houston defense held North Texas to 290 yards of total offense and the Mean Green's star running back Lance Dunbar was bottled up for the second straight game. Dunbar gained just 62 yards on 18 carries and scored the game's final touchdown on a five-yard effort with 11:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Keenum, who threw for 310 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the season opener against UCLA last week, is now fourth on the NCAA's all-time passing list with 14,354 yards, surpassing Hawaii's Colt Brennan (14,193 yards) on Saturday night. The signal-caller is also tied for sixth place with Florida's Danny Wuerffel with 114 career passing TDs.
09/11 00:26:42 ET