Penn State Vs. Houston, TicketCity Bowl: Case Keenum Throws For 533, Coogs Win 30-14

Penn State is taking on Conference USA runner-up Houston in the Dallas. Live TicketCity Bowl box score, TicketCity Bowl FAQ, and Jan. 2 bowl game TV schedule.

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Penn State Vs. Houston, TicketCity Bowl Final Score: Case Keenum Leads Cougars To 30-14 Win

There will surely be those who continue to doubt Case Keenum's ability to succeed at the next level, but he took at least a step in the direction of answering some of the concerns over his abilities while leading the Houston Cougars to a 30-14 win over Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl on Monday. Keenum completed 44 of 68 passes for 533 yards and three touchdowns as the Cougars overcame the disappointment of losing in the Conference USA title game and beat their first ranked opponent of the season.

Live TicketCity Bowl box score, TicketCity Bowl FAQ, and Jan. 2 bowl game TV schedule.

Keenum got the Cougars off to a fast start while leading his team to scores on their first three possessions. The Cougars jumped out to a 17-0 lead following a pair of touchdown passes from Keenum and never led by fewer than 10 points after that. Although the Cougars were held out of the endzone and Keenum was stopped from essentially rewriting the record book (he did set a record for most completions in a bowl game) during the second half, they were able to move the ball whenever they needed to and avoided any turnovers.

The Cougars defense, meanwhile, had little trouble slowing down the Nittany Lions offense. The Cougars intercepted Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden three times and held him to just 7 of 26 passing. Penn State did get a little life in the third quarter when Bolden hooked up with Justin Brown on a 69-yard touchdown that cut their deficit to 27-14, but the Cougars immediately answered with a field goal.

Keenum wasn't the only Cougars player to put some outrageous numbers. Patrick Edwards caught nine passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns, including one that went for 75 yards. Justin Johnson caught Keenum's other touchdown throw and racked up 147 yards on 12 catches. Keenum, who already had the NCAA record for all-purpose yards, went over 20,000 for his career and the Cougars compiled more than 600 yards of offense in the game.

For more on the TicketCity Bowl, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries and Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, plus SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Houston Vs. Penn State, TicketCity Bowl: Case Keenum Leads Cougars To 24-7 Halftime Lead

Case Keenum threw three touchdowns and passed for 380 yards as the Houston Cougars took a 24-7 to lead into halftime over the Penn State Nittany Lions in the TicketCity Bowl on Monday. Keenum led the Cougars to scores on each of their first three possessions and only failed to score on the fourth because of a missed field goal. Andrew Hogan also missed a kick at the end of the first half and the Cougars punted just once.

Live TicketCity Bowl box score, TicketCity Bowl FAQ, and Jan. 2 bowl game TV schedule.

Patrick Edwards was the biggest beneficiary of Keenum's passing, making six catches for 201 yards and scoring a pairing of touchdowns. Edwards scored on 40- and 75-yard pass plays. Justin Johnson caught Keenum's other touchdown throw, making eight catches for 96 yards.

After falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter, Penn State was able to temporarily cut the lead to 17-7 early in the second quarter. Their touchdown followed Hogan's first missed field goal and was capped off by Stephfon Green's 6-yard run. Quarterback Rob Bolden was held to just 2 of 10 passing for 55 yards.

For more on the TicketCity Bowl, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries and Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, plus SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Tony Levine Officially Named Next Houston Cougars Coach

Houston Cougars interim head coach Tony Levine is officially the man in charge, the school announced Wednesday. He'll take over for the departed Kevin Sumlin, who's prepping to lead Texas A&M into the SEC. Task one is the same as it was the day before: ready for the TicketCity Bowl against the Penn St. Nittany Lions

In a statement, athletic director Mack Rhoades gushed about his new coach:

"I'm so pleased to be able to announce Tony Levine as our new head coach," Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades said. "Before we began this process we talked about the characteristics we wanted in the leader of our football program and Tony embodies each of those qualities. We spoke with former players, current student-athletes and interviewed some of the top football coaches in the country, and all of our talks led us right back to Tony.

"We consistently talk about building a program and building upon our culture here at UH and when you have the perfect fit right here on staff, you feel fortunate. But we still wanted to do our due diligence. We talked to some great folks, some people that are already outstanding Division I head coaches, but the best fit for UH is Tony Levine."

Levine has been an assistant at UH for four years, becoming assistant head coach two years ago. He's also been running the special teams and coaching tight ends. Previous stops have landed him at Louisville and Louisiana Tech, with a Carolina Panthers gig in there too.

Levine on his new job:

"I'm both humbled and excited to have this opportunity to lead the Houston Football program and continue my work with our student-athletes and staff," Levine said. "This is a dream come true for me and my family. We love Houston and I'm proud to say that Houston is our home. When you have the opportunity to lead a program, it has to be more than a job. Houston is a destination spot. Continuing to build this program is a personal challenge because this place means so much to us. We have new facilities on the horizon, we are heading into an AQ (Automatic Qualifying) conference, we have the vision and leadership of Mack Rhoades and President Khator and we have the best fans and student support in America. That's why Houston is so special."

For more on all the coaching moves thus far, here's SB Nation's 2011 College Football Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Kevin Sumlin To Texas A&M Finally Done, Houston AD Confirms

The Texas A&M Aggies are finally, actually, for real hiring Houston Cougars head coach Kevin Sumlin to replace Mike Sherman. Houston's athletic director, Mack Rhoades, confirmed as such Saturday evening, naming Tony Levine the interim coach.

@skhanjr Sam Khan Jr.:  Rhoades joked on Sumlin taking assistants: "I told him he couldn't take any."

Sumlin has been the presumed next A&M coach for quite some time now, but the Aggies reportedly felt like undertaking a side quest in an effort to swipe Georgia Bulldogs coach Mark Richt. The UGA coach's agent certainly appreciates the venture.

Going 35-17 at UH and nearly reaching the BCS, Sumlin now becomes the first African-American head coach at a major Texas program and A&M's first-ever SEC head coach. Expect A&M to officially announce him shortly.

For more on the Aggies, visit Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. And check in with our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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