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Keenum sets new TD passes record

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston’s Case Keenum threw nine touchdown passes to set the Football Bowl Subdivision record for career TD tosses as the 18th-ranked Cougars overcame a slow start in a 73-34 win over Rice on a rain soaked Thursday night.

Keenum threw an interception and had a fumble returned for a touchdown in the first quarter in heavy rain as Rice built a 17-7 lead.

The rain subsided and Keenum and the Cougars got going after that. They outscored Rice 45-3 to take a 52-20 lead by early in the third quarter and cruised to the easy victory to remain undefeated.

Keenum, who became the FBS career leader in total offense last week, has 139 career touchdown passes.

On Thursday he abused Rice’s 115th ranked defense by throwing TD passes of 57, 21, 64, 18, 41, 20, 37, 22 and 47 yards to break former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell’s record of 134.

Patrick Edwards had seven receptions for 318 yards receiving and five touchdowns for Houston (8-0, 4-0 Conference USA).

Tyler Smith had 170 yards rushing and two rushing and one receiving touchdown for Rice (2-6, 1-4). That included a 97-yard scoring run which was the longest TD run in school history.

The Owls were ahead 17-7 late in the first quarter before Keenum threw his first touchdown pass for 57 yards to Edwards. The teams exchanged field goals at the beginning of the second quarter to leave Rice up 20-17.

Keenum then threw three touchdown passes in a six minute span at the end of the first half to put Houston on top 38-20 and tie the touchdown passes record.