Keenum gets benched, Texans lose eighth straight

In the middle of the third quarter, Texans fans — even those from UH — started booing. It wasn’t because of a bad play by starting quarterback Case Keenum, but on him being replaced by Matt Schaub.

Fans started chanting “Keenum” after Schaub’s first series that ended in a punt. He nearly won the game, but his pass to Andre Johnson fell incomplete, resulting in a 28-23 defeat to the Oakland Raiders.

“It was tough. It wasn’t fun. But we did what was best for this team,” Keenum said. “It was frustrating, and I felt like I prepared well, but I just didn’t make the plays that I needed to.”

Before being pulled, the former UH legend wasn’t playing badly. He went 13-24 for 170 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but indicated he wasn’t satisfied with his play.

Keenum said not converting on third downs might have warranted him being pulled. The Texans had converted only 18 percent (2-11) of their third downs with him in the game. Head coach Gary Kubiak said the Raiders presented a scheme that caused him to struggle, which allowed him to make the switch.

“We had to make a lot of changes from a protection standpoint to handle some of the things the (Raiders) were doing. And it made it very tough on (Keenum), in my opinion, being a young player,” said head coach Gary Kubiak. “I knew that (Schaub) could get done some of the things that I wanted to get done, real fast, and give us a chance to win.”

Guard Wade Smith said it was disappointing when the home crowd started booing Schaub when he stepped in to replace Keenum. He said his offense was forced to go to a silent count because they couldn’t hear.

“It was very disappointing, because it was affecting how we had to play,” Smith said. “Besides that, we’re all grown men and have thick skin. But the fact that we had to adjust on what we were doing put us at a disadvantage, like we were on the road. When there are accolades, we don’t shy away from it, so when there is criticism, we can’t shy away from that.”

Receiver Andre Johnson, who finished with 10 catches for 160 yards, said it doesn’t matter who is throwing him the ball.

“It was the coach’s decision. I always say I feel comfortable with everybody, no matter who’s there.”

As for next Sunday’s starter at quarterback against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kubiak said he’d have to look at everything and continue to work through it.

Former UH cornerback D.J. Hayden was inactive with a groin injury.

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