Wins 10 Losses 4
upsets 1- Plays 1,150
Offensive yards gained
by uh 7,887
Offensive yards gained
by opponents 6,318
Junior quarterback Case Keenum finishes
the season with a school-record
5,671 yards and 44 touchdowns.
The Cougars notch 77 touchdowns
and 591 points for the season.
UH holds its opponents to 56
touchdowns and 421 points.
continued from Page 6
taking a 24-7 advantage in to the locker room at halftime, and this time
made the most of it, shocking the Cowboys and the rest of the nation by
escaping with a 45-35 win and their first national ranking in 18 years. The
win was also the Cougars' first over a top-5 opponent since 1984, something
not lost on Sumlin or his players.
"For us, as a program, this is a big win," Sumlin said. "It legitimizes our
University. It legitimizes our program. That's more important to me than
what's happened in the last hundred years."
The Cougars had to wait two weeks to defend their newfound No. 17
ranking, but the wait would be well worth it, as Keenum led a comeback
for the ages against another Big 12 powerhouse, Texas Tech. Playing in
front of a Robertson Stadium-record crowd of 32,114 and trailing the Red
Raiders by five, Keenum drove the Cougars on an 16-play, 95-yard drive
in the final minutes and capped the comeback by running for the game-
winning touchdown from 4-yards out with 49 seconds remaining.
As fast as the Cougars' meteoric rise through the rankings was, their
descent would be just a quick, as UH
stumbled the following week at UTEP in
its first C-USA game of the season. After
UH jumped out to a 17-10 lead in the first
half, UTEP responded with 14 unanswered
points en route to outscoring the Cougars
48-24 the rest of the way to cap a 58-41
upset. The Cougars returned to Houston
suddenly out of theTop-25 and looking to
regroup from an early C-USA hole.
Sumlin did just that, refocusing his players and the Cougars responded, winning
their next five contests, including a 31-24
win at Mississippi State the following
week. The last two games of the streak
involved more of the Cougars' late-game
magic, with Keenum first hooking up
with receiver Patrick Edwards for a 28-yard touchdown with 21 seconds
remaining to top Southern Miss 50-43 and the following week leading a
pair of scoring drives in the final 3:23 to top Tulsa on the road. The latter
involved an onside kick with UH trailing the Golden Hurricane and only 20
seconds left in regulation. Keenum again saved his best for last, driving
the Cougars to the Tulsa 34 with 3 seconds, setting up freshman kicker
Matt Hogan's 51-yard field goal as time expired and a 46-45 win for UH.
The Cougars stumbled again the following week, falling 37-32 at
Central Florida, but just as he did after their first hiccup, Sumlin rallied the
Cougars to finish the regular season with blowout victories over Memphis
and in-town rival Rice, claiming the C-USA West crown and setting up a
matchup with East Carolina for the C-USA title and an invite to the Liberty
Alas, it was not to be for UH, as their late-game theatrics went for
naught and the Pirates used an interception in the end zone with 42
seconds remaining to preserve a 38-32 win and back-to-back C-USA titles.
The Cougars' consolation prize was a rematch in the Armed Forces Bowl
with 2008 opponent Air Force.
In a matchup of the nations' No. 1 passing offense and No. 1 passing
defense, the Falcons prevailed behind a record six interceptions thrown
by Keenum, and with the 47-20 defeat, the Cougars ended the season
with their first set of consecutive losses all year.
Sumlin said after the game that he was still proud of his departing senior class and that he was looking forward to fulfilling the promise shown
by underclassmen in 2010. ■
It legitimizes our
university. It legitimizes
our program. Anytime
that you can go on the
road and win and beat
atop 10 team, it really
helps your confidence
as a program and it
helps your pride as a
— UH head coach Kevin
8 • Features
Features • 9