Case closes well for Houston

Matthew Emmons/US Presswire

Houston Cougars quarterback Case Keenum (7) throws in the pocket against the Penn State Nittany Lions in Sunday's TicketCity Bowl.Case Keenum and Houston ended Penn State's difficult season by making it look easy in the TicketCity Bowl.

The Cougars jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, as Case Keenum set a bowl record for any quarter with 277 pass yards, besting the 223 yards by Louisville's Browning Nagle against Alabama in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl.

Most Pass Yards vs Penn State
Single Game, School History

Keenum proceeded to throw for 532 yards on the day, the most pass yards ever surrendered by a Penn State team, topping the 520 by Boston College's Doug Flutie in 1982.

The record does come with an asterisk, as Ty Detmer threw for 576 against Penn State in the 1989 Holiday Bowl, but bowl stats were not official then.

He threw two touchdowns of more than 25 yards, the first such touchdowns surrendered by the Nittany Lions this season. Entering the game, Penn State was the only FBS team yet to allow a pass touchdown of more than 25 yards this season.

Keenum finishes his career owning most every career FBS passing record, including yards (19,217), touchdowns (155) and 300-yard games (39).

Houston's 600 net yards in the game were actually only a yard above the team's season average, but they pushed the Cougars season total to 8,387 yards and made them the first team to rack up 8,000 yards of total offense in a season.

Houston concludes the season with a school-record 13 wins, while Penn State loses back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the 1975 and 1976 seasons.

The Nittany Lions have now played three bowl games without Joe Paterno at the helm, and they have failed to win all three games, tying SMU in the 1948 Cotton Bowl and losing to USC in the 1923 Rose Bowl.