In The Film Room: Rice vs Houston

Case Keenum NFL Draft

Nine touchdowns. One game.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the nation’s top scoring offense scored a bunch of points Thursday. But watching the Houston Cougars face the Rice Owls, it seemed like a video game.

With big performances by sixth-year senior Case Keenum and his veteran receiving corps, the Cougars offense was on full display.

Case Keenum, QB, Houston
Displays tremendous ability to drop ball right into receiver’s hands on go-route early in 2nd quarter to Patrick Edwards.

Does same thing in tight man coverage to Tyron Carrier on a corner route for another TD.

Effortlessly powers the ball downfield. Excells at deep ball placement.

Able to find matchups, reads defenses and puts ball where only his receiver can make the play.

Has tendency to throw off back foot, doesn’t have great mechanics or throwing motion.

Biggest question is he just a system QB, did not face any pressure all night, receivers simply outran secondary especially when matched up against safeties in man coverage.

Able to buy time in pocket with rollout to avoid pass rush up the middle by Solomon.

Inconsistent first half, missed some throws in second quarter with miscommunication with receivers.

Nine touchdowns says a lot.

Patrick Edwards, WR, Houston
Easily beats man coverage on safeties with his excellent speed.

Consistently beat man coverage by safeties by simply outrunning them.

Doesn’t run many pro-style routes. Mostly runs posts or go-routes against off coverage.

Good hands to reel in TD catch when safety is in his face in the endzone.

Shows ability to stop on a dime, make a cut.

Tyron Carrier, WR, Houston
Explosive speed on kickoff return for TD, a real threat in the return game.

Reliable target on third down, able to find soft spots in the defense.

Able to beat man coverage with speed despite limited size.

Runs good corner route in off-man coverage, reels in TD.

Great concentration and effort in all facets of the game, a QB’s best friend.

Throws excellent block downfield on Edwards’ fifth TD in fourth quarter.

Sammy Brown, LB, Houston
Flies up field on reverse play to disrupt timing.

Dragged downfield by Turner Peterson, not overly physical.

Good discipline to maintain gap responsibility on option play but fails to keep containment which led to huge TD run for Smith.

Can be sucked in on option plays and isn’t particularly disciplined in settting the edge.

When used as blitzer, makes great use of his speed and uses rip move to blow past right tackle for easy sack in second quarter. Premier pass rusher on his team.

Bit inconsistent, can make impact play and follow with bad play.

Phillip Steward, LB, Houston
Stays disciplined on reverse, able to make tackle for loss.

Tendency to tackle high, but can deliver a blow when in position.

Has long arms to make open field tackles as shown against Peterson on QB-designed runs.

Makes plays in the backfield. Has the best physical tools of four starting linebackers.

Marcus McGraw, LB, Houston
Also has tendency to tackle high which takes away his power. Best run defender on the team.

Shows versatility and athleticism to jump and tip pass on 3rd and 19. Active, all over the field.

Lack of speed shows when he is burned by Rice RB Tyron Smith on wheel route for 67-yard TD.

Linebackers as a whole had trouble diagnosing option plays with running QB Turner Peterson in the game.

Tyler Smith, RB, Rice

Displayed impressive burst and speed in the open field. Very good north-south runner as demonstrated on wheel route to beat
Houston LB Marcus McGraw for 67-yard TD.

Only 5-foot-8, but compact at 195 pounds. Runs low with good balance and power, looks bigger than listed size.

Once he hits the hole, can really accelerate. Ran by linebackers and secondary of Houston regularly.

Good vision to cutback inside left tackle to break off 97-yard TD run late in third quarter.

Turner Petersen, QB/RB, Rice

Do-it-all type player. Extremely effective as an option QB who mostly ran the ball.

Uses size (6-foot-2, 210 lbs.) to his advantage. Regularly powered through tackles by safeties and smaller linebackers.

Causes confusion for linebackers on option plays. His threat as a runner caused Houston’s linebacker to get trapped inside which allowed for outside runs and cutback lanes.

Not used as a passer often, only completed one pass. Similar to Tebow in his freshman year.

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