Head Coach Gary Kubiak says Keenum will start against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Kubiak says Keenum continues to grow and brings a spark that the struggling Texans need.
"We're struggling, and we're looking for a spark," coach Gary Kubiak said. "I think he deserves an opportunity to go out there. It's a tough place to play. It's a tough place to get your first start and all that good stuff. But I'm not sending him out there by himself. I'm sending him out there with his football team and the guys understand that."
Kubiak says Keenum's eyes got big when he told him he'd be starting Sunday. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips says that Keenum reminds him of Dallas Cowboys ony Romo's story and he likes Keenum's moxie.
"He's a young cat so he gets really excited out there," said Texans running back Arian Foster. "I think we're bringing another element of his legs to the game. I'm excited to see what he's going to do."
"It means a lot to have the guys have my back," said Keenum. "I think it's a big part of the game and a big part of the position."
Keenum was a record-setting quarterback at the University of Houston before spending last season on the practice squad. The undrafted free agent has never appeared in a regular-season NFL game.The Texans (2-4) have lost four straight games, hurt by penalties, turnovers and other mistakes.
Kubiak chose to go with Keenum over backup T.J. Yates, who led Houston to its first playoff win two years ago when Schaub was hurt. He struggled Sunday after Schaub was hurt, throwing two interceptions.
Excitement on U of H campus
Keenum took the University of Houston from a local team into regional and national college football spotlight. With help from then football coach Kevin Sumlin, Keenum earned the record for most touchdown passes thrown in college football history.
Its been two years since Keenum was a student athlete at the University of Houston, but the memory of him is still fresh.
"When I was a freshman, they'd just beaten Texas Tech," said U of H student Brandon Harris. "That was one of the most exciting games we had ever seen. We all rushed the stadium."
The news of Keenum picked as the starting quarterback for the Texans game Sunday is exciting here...
"I think it's going to boost our pride even more," said U of H student Sarah Schroeder. "We already have a high spirited football program already but that will boost it even more."
It could be boosted a lot.
"If he does well and gets them to the playoffs, it could hurdle U of H into recognition for their football program," said student Robert Trenay.
A lot is riding on Keenum's transition from a college quarterback to being the Texans starter Sunday. And one more honor -- he just made someone's fantasy league
"I didn't think he was going to play and won't get any points, but now that he's starting I'm gonna go ahead and give him a shot," said student Andre Morris.