Couldn’t stand the weather; Cougars conquer elements and Owls in 73-34 win

Senior receiver Patrick Edwards caught seven passes for a career-high 318 yards and five touchdowns. | Brianna Leigh Morrison/The Daily Cougar

The rain could not stop the Cougars. The Owls could not stop the Cougars.

Case Keenum threw for a career-high nine touchdowns, or two more than Kent State has scored as a team all season, and the Cougars clipped the Owls 73-34 to capture the Bayou Bucket.

“That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing football,” Keenum said.

Keenum passed former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell for the most touchdown passes thrown in NCAA history. He and favorite target Patrick Edwards hooked up for five scores, a career-high. Edwards also set another career-high with 318 yards on seven receptions.

“He’s a dominant player,” Keenum said. “He can take over the field when he wants to or when he’s feeling it — and he was feeling it. I knew early that that was how it was going to be. He even told that he feeling good. He doesn’t talk very much, so when he’s feeling good and he tells me, I better start throwing the ball a lot more.”

After Tyron Carrier ran back the opening kickoff 100 yards to tie C.J. Spiller for the NCAA all-time record for kickoff return scores, the Cougars sputtered on their next four possessions, turning the ball over three times and punting once.

“It was bad” head coach Kevin Sumlin said.

“The statement I made on the headset was, ‘surely it’s not going to be like this all night. It can’t rain this hard all night,’ and I guess somebody heard me because it started to stop about five minutes after that and things got a lot better.”

As the rain cleared though, the Cougars offense emerged, scoring on nine straight possessions — none of the drives lasted longer than 2:28 and three times UH needed less than one minute to score.

In addition to Edwards, three other Cougars caught touchdown passes — Carrier, Justin Johnson and Charles Sims.

“They played man the whole game,” Carrier said. “What can you do but throw the ball deep when you have some guys on this team that are pretty fast, including myself and Pat. And if you play real close to us, we can run by you.”

Carrier had 85 yards receiving and tied Edwards with seven catches. Johnson caught three passes for 48 yards. Sims found the end zone twice and had four receptions for 73 yards to go with 50 yards on seven carries.

Michael Hayes led the Cougars ground game with 76 yards on 12 carries.

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