The Houston Cougars probably regret taking on UCLA this season in the Rose Bowl. Not only did the Bruins dismantle the Cougars in their biggest game of the season, 31-13, but they took out Houston’s top two quarterbacks for the season with injuries. Case Keenum suffered a torn ACL injury in the loss. Keenum’s back up, Cotton Turner, suffered a fractured clavicle that will end his season.
“I am very disappointed for both these young men,” said Sumlin in a statement released by the University of Houston. “It’s hard to see them hurting right now. They both are a big part of this team and wanted to be contributors to its success this season. I think they can still do that with their off-the-field leadership.”
Keenum ends his season prematurely and thus his pursuit for the NCAA all-time passing record (17,072 passing yards by Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang) falls short by 3,468 yards. But more importantly Houston must now rely on inexperienced quarterbacks to step up. The most likely name to fill the vacancy could be redshirt freshman Terrance Broadway, who played during the UCLA game. Sumlin suggested the decision would come between Broadway and freshman David Piland, who was supposed to be redshirted this season.
Houston plays Tulane this weekend in a Conference USA West match-up. Houston started the season as the team to beat but with the loss of their Heisman candidate quarterback and his back-up the rest of the conference, and division, may have made up some serious ground on the Cougars. Sumlin will have his work cut out for him with a likely true freshman quarterback but he still has some talented players on offense to help carry the weight. But can Houston’s quarterback come up big in some tough games remaining on the schedule?
Houston hosts Mississippi State form the SEC in two weeks before playing three straight road games, including the highly anticipated game at SMU on October 23.