October 8, 2009 10:25:00 AM
Danny P Smith -
It''s not the passing attempts, pass completions, yards, or touchdowns passes that mean the most to University of Houston quarterback Case Keenum.
When the game is over, the only numbers that concern Keenum are the ones on the scoreboard.
That''s why he was upset when Houston lost to the University of Texas-El Paso 58-41 last Saturday.
Keenum was 51 of 76 passing for 536 yards and five touchdowns, but he didn''t get to enjoy having that production.
"It''s not really a whole lot of fun when you don''t win," Keenum said. "You can put up a bunch of stats, but we didn''t come out on top. It wasn''t the way we wanted it to turn out, but we learned a lot and we''re excited to move on."
Keenum and the Cougars will bring their high-powered air attack Starkville to take on Mississippi State at 11:30 a.m. Saturday (ESPNU).
The loss to UTEP knocked Houston (3-1) from No. 12 in The Associated Press rankings to out of the poll.
Keenum said he doesn''t pay attention to rankings. He understands the Cougars didn''t play well and awaits the next opportunity.
"We''re ready to see if we can''t get this bad taste out of our mouth," Keenum said. "Nobody likes to lose and it''s not fun. We''re competitors and we like to compete. We like to do well and when you don''t, we want to get back out there and try it again."
MSU coach Dan Mullen has been around some good quarterbacks as an assistant coach at the University of Florida (Tim Tebow and Chris Leak) and at Utah (Alex Smith).
Mullen said Keenum ranks with those quarterbacks, but not because of statistics.
The impression Mullen gets watching Keenum on film Keenum is he can make plays when the game is on the line.
"He does a great job of managing (the game)," Mullen said. "He keeps them out of problems and gets them in the right checks, gets the ball to the right receivers, makes good reads, and is a very accurate passer. He can make a play with his legs or his arm. That''s what you want from a quarterback.
"Is he like Tebow? Yes. Is he like Alex Smith? Yes. Is he like Chris Leak? Yes. Is he like Peyton Manning? Yes. Is he like Tom Brady? Yes. They are all winners."
Keenum has passed for 1,696 yards and has 13 touchdowns. He tries not to focus on his numbers until the end of the year. But he is focused on the offense''s effectiveness on third downs and in the red zone.
Keenum continues to move up the school''s career passing charts. He''s third in pass completions (728), sixth in pass attempts (1,072), third in passing yards (8,975), and fourth in touchdown passes (71).
His career passing efficiency rating of 155.8 is better than former Houston quarterbacks Kevin Kolb, Andre'' Ware, and David Klingler.
"It''s definitely cool to be mentioned with them," Keenum said. "I don''t take that lightly because I''ve gotten a chance to meet those guys, and I know Kevin pretty well. They are great guys and have done great things around here in the community. I appreciate those type of compliments."