The Case Keenum/Austin Davis Bowl
Note: I wrote this last night. Then I got drunk and woke up after the game had already started today. I promise.
You’ve heard a lot about Case Keenum putting up ludicrous numbers his entire career at Houston, breaking passing records in typical Houston quarterback fashion. He started in 2008, two years after Kevin Kolb ran the kind of offense and had the kind of stats that made people think he might succeed in the NFL. This season is Keenum’s sixth in college (thanks to a special medical exemption from the NCAA), fifth as the Cougars’ starting quarterback, and he’s led Houston football to its highest ranking since 1976. The Cougars currently sit sixth in the BCS, perfect at 12-0. Only LSU has won that many games. Saturday at noon, Keenum will play the biggest game of his college career. A chance to end his super-duper senior season with an undefeated regular season and allow Houston to take Boise State and TCU’s usual spot as the non automatic qualifier school that crashes the BCS party because none of the other supposed shittier teams in their substandard conferences can beat them even once. Too much? Anyway, Keenum isn’t seen as a premium pro prospect, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been one hell of a college quarterback.
Anyway, Keenum’s counterpart, Austin Davis, a redshirt senior, is only the guy who broke all of Brett Favre’s passing records at Southern Mississippi. He’s been starting since his freshman year and would have broken said records earlier had he not suffered a season-ending foot injury as a sophomore. Anyway, this is his chance to shine on a national stage, cement his legacy as the most prolific quarterback in school history, and perhaps boost his fringe draft stock. I wrote about about Davis at the end of bowl season last year, mainly because I felt his awesome touchdown catch (yes, catch) during the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl had to be shared. But also because I thought he was an underrated quarterback prospect. Maybe he can make a name for himself and generate some buzz going into draft season.
Other prospects on both teams….
Patrick Edwards - WR
A good, NFL-caliber player, or merely a product of the system? I’m rooting for Edwards, and I hope he’s out to prove he’s better than Donnie Avery.
Sammy Brown - OLB
I like his long arms and speed off the edge; he uses those two attributes well in conjunction with his size (6-2, 240) and is an outside linebacker in the Cougars’ 3-4 defense. He’ll fill the same role at the next level. I’ve only seen Brown once, and that was in the first game of this season against UCLA. He didn’t record any sacks, but he was active and disruptive. Brown was Wes Bunting’s "Prospect of the Day" over at National Football Post earlier in the week.
Kendrick Presley - S
Noticed Presley’s production last season and followed him into this season. He’s struggled a bit, but there are still flashes. Presley has the size (6-2) and speed (4.5) you look for at the position and used to play wide receiver in high school, which I believe is an invaluable trait and advantage. I think he could at least excel as a special teams player.
Ronnie Thornton - OLB
This guy looks pretty legit, too.
Jamie Collins - DE/OLB
Can’t miss him. Big, freak athlete with length and explosiveness.