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Keenum directs Houston bombing of Penn State

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Case Keenum threw for 532 yards and three touchdowns as Houston rolled up an astounding 600 yards of offense in a 30-14 thumping of Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas.

Penn State's roller coaster season ended with a thud as the Nittany Lions were unable to contain Keenum and the explosive Houston offense. The Cougars piled up 227 in the air and 17 points in the first quarter alone and the Lions never recovered.

The rout capped a tumultuous month for Penn State, during which starting wide receiver Curtis Drake and starting quarterback Matt McGloin got into a post-practice fight that left McGloin with a severe concussion and left both unavailable for the game. In addition, back-up quarterback Rob Bolden was arrested for stealing merchandise from a local store and his available was unknown for a few days earlier in the month.

Bolden ultimately started, but struggled, completing just 7 of his 26 passes and throwing three interceptions. He did direct two touchdown drives, but Penn State managed only 306 yards of offense, punted nine times and never really threatened.

Houston wide receiver Patrick Edwards got behind Penn State's Malcolm Willis for a 40-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the game to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead. Four minutes later a Matt Hogan 35-yard field goal made it 10-0, and Keenum hooked up with Justin Johnson for an 8-yard score late in the quarter to put Houston up 17-0.

The Lions used a trick play to get on the scoreboard, as tailback Stephfon Green took a direct snap for a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give Penn State some life, but just four minutes later, a scrambling Keenum found Patrick Edwards for a 75-yard touchdown reception up the middle for a 24-7 Cougars' lead at halftime.

After another Hogan field goal extended the lead to 27-7, Bolden threw a 70-yard touchdown to Justin Brown to cut the lead to 27-14 with over two minutes to go in the third quarter.

Penn State was unable to turn the score into any momentum, as the Cougars responded on their next drive with another field goal to set the final margin at 30-14.

Keenum's final numbers were 45 of 69 passing for 532 yards. Edwards finished with 10 catches and 228 yards for two touchdowns, while Johnson had 12 catches for 148 yards.


Green led the Penn State offense with 64 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

"I thought the guys came out and they played hard. It's been a difficult year for them," Penn State interim coach Tom Bradley told ESPN's Lisa Salters after the game. "It just didn't go our way."

Bradley, Penn State's longtime defensive coordinator, is one of a handful of candidates to replace legendary coach Joe Paterno, who was fired Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex-abuse charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

It was Penn State's first bowl game without Paterno since the 1962 Gator Bowl.

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