Coogs QB Keenum staying for senior season

January 13, 2010 3:23:01 PM PST
University of Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum Wednesday announced that he will return for his senior season. The junior had explored entering the NFL Draft in April.[SPORTS BLOG: Read the latest from the Eyewitness Sports team]

Including Keenum, the Coogs will return nine starters after the team finished 10-4 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation in total offense, passing yards, scoring and first downs.

"I feel this is a very special group of guys, and we have a lot of chemistry and history together and played a lot of games over the years," Keenum said. "When you have a team like this, it's your family and you want to stay together as long as you can.

Keenum led the nation in total offense (416.4 yards per game) for the second consecutive season, and topped all QBs in passing yards (405.1 ypg.) and TD passes (44). He won the Sammy Baugh Award as the nation's top passing quarterback, finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, and was a finalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, Manning Award and the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year.

Voted the MVP of Conference USA as well as a First-Team, All-C-USA selection, Keenum's passing yards (5,671) and total offense numbers (5,829) were the third-best in NCAA history for a single season. He joined Texas Tech's Graham Harrell as the only two quarterbacks in NCAA history to pass for over 5,000 yards twice in a career.

"We have a chance to do something special this season. I want to win a conference championship, win another bowl game and take a shot at the BCS. I am excited about getting back to workout in the off season and get ready for spring football," said Keenum.

Owning most of the Houston passing and total offense career records, Keenum enters 2010 with a shot at breaking the NCAA FBS marks in these categories. He heads into his senior campaign with 12,950 yards and 102 touchdowns passing, while racking up 13,741 total offensive yards and 122 touchdowns responsible for. He has completed 1,076 of 1,562 pass attempts (68.89 completion percentage) with only 36 interceptions.

The NCAA career record for passing yards is 17,072 set by Hawaii's Timmy Chang from 2000-04, and Chang holds the NCAA record for total offense with 16,910 yards. Chang also holds the record for pass attempts with 2,436, while Harrell is the all-time leader in completions with 1,403.

Houston begins its defense of its Conference USA West Division title on September 4, when it hosts Texas State on John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.