Keenum will start at quarterback against ECU
Football head coach Art Briles announced Tuesday that redshirt freshman quarterback Case Keenum will start for the Cougars in Saturday’s game against the East Carolina Pirates.
This is the first time this season that Briles has disclosed who will start at the quarterback position before gameday.
"As we go into East Carolina, Case is going to be our starting quarterback," Briles said. "When he was in (Saturday’s game) he took advantage of the opportunity and did a good job."
Keenum replaced sophomore quarterback Blake Joseph in the second quarter of Saturday’s game and led the Cougars in their come-from-behind win. He threw for 197 yards on 18-of-22 passing and ran for two touchdowns in Saturday’s win against Colorado State.
Keenum said that being the starter would not have any affect on the way he practices or plays.
"I’m going to prepare the same way I did the last couple times. I was always going to get playing time, so now it’s just at a different time," Keenum said. "Now I know for sure, so I’m going to come out there and just do the same thing, produce when I get the chance and see how things go."
Keenum was also named the Division I National Sports Performer of the Week by collegesportsreport.com.
"I try not to take those… accolades personally, but I think it’s great to have UH out there," Keenum said. "We don’t get enough credit for anything, so anytime Houston gets something up there it’s awesome."
Keenum is not the only Cougar to receive recognition for his play on Saturday. Senior kicker T.J. Lawrence was named C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week and junior safety Kenneth Fontenette is the conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Fontenette had five tackles against Colorado State and recovered a fumble caused by senior nose tackle Tate Stewart to score in the third quarter.
Lawrence put the Cougars’ first points on the board after he hit a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter and stretched his streak of successful point-after-touchdowns to 12
"It’s an honor for me to get that award, but I just did what was expected of me. Coach expected me to make the plays," Lawrence said. "I’m happy, but I think if you asked (Fontenette) he’d feel the same: the most important thing is not that we got the award, the most important thing is that we got the win."
Briles said that he is not surprised by the attention his players are receiving and that they deserve acknowledgment both on and off the field.
"I’m always happy for them, because they work hard," Briles said. "They do right, go to class (and) stay out of trouble. You see good things happen to good people."