Monday, January 2, 2012
2012 Ticketcity Bowl Final
Houston 30, Penn State 14
Houston came into the game today needing to attack the 5th ranked Penn State pass defense head on, and that is exactly what they did as All-Bilo QB of the Year Case Keenum completed 44 of 68 passes for 533 yards and 3 scores on the day as the Cougars went into cruise mode in the win over the Nittany Lions, who were playing in a bowl game without Joe Paterno in for the first time in decades.
The Cougars jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the 1st quarter, and they coasted from that point on. Patrick Edwards caught 9 passes for 229 yards and 2 scores on the day, while Justin Johnson added 12 receptions for 147 yards and a score. Tyron Carrier was lost in the first half with a knee injury after catching 8 passes. Seven different receivers caught passes for Houston in the win.
For Penn State, it was a different story, as the Nittany Lions came into this game in a huge state of uncertainty, as they don't know who will coach this football team going forward after Tom Bradley was named interim coach back in November. This could have been the end of an era for the entire staff, or it could have been an audition for 2012. If it were that, then this staff should probably pack it in. Rob Bolden looked ill prepared at QB, completing just 7 of 26 passes on the day in the loss.
The Nittany Lions had only 15 1st downs to 25 for Houston, while also losing the turnover war. Penn State turned the ball over 3 times, while Houston never turned the ball over at all. Houston completely neutralized Penn State's best defender in Devon Still, who was being depended upon to disrupt Case Keenum up the middle. That never happened.
Houston finishes the season at 13-1, which is both a school and a Conference USA record. Penn State finishes 9-4, while losing 3 of 4 to close the season.