84F Legion Field, Birmingham, AL
Case Keenum became the FBS career leader in total offense two weeks ago, and last week he set the record for most touchdown passes in NCAA history.
With an upcoming matchup against one of the worst defensive teams in the nation, it might not take long for Keenum to move atop two more FBS lists.
The No. 14 Cougars look to set a school record Saturday night by opening 9-0 as they visit a UAB team trying to rebound from its most lopsided loss of the year.
Keenum became the all-time leader in total offense in a 63-28 victory over Marshall on Oct. 22, eclipsing the mark of 16,910 yards set by Hawaii's Timmy Chang with a 392-yard effort. On Thursday, needing five TD throws to break the NCAA record of 134 set by Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, he tossed a career-high nine in a 73-34 win over Rice.
At 4-0 in Conference USA, Houston is tied atop the West Division with Tulsa. The Cougars are 8-0 for the third time, joining the 1990 and 1979 teams.
"It was a blast," Keenum said after going 24 for 37 for 534 yards against the Owls. "That was probably the most fun I've ever had playing football."
Keenum needs 267 passing yards to surpass Chang's FBS-record total of 17,072, and he's tied with BYU's Ty Detmer for the most 300-yard passing games with 34.
He seems to have a very good chance to break both records against UAB (1-7, 1-4), which returns home following a 59-14 loss to Marshall last Saturday. The Blazers, who committed a season-high five turnovers, are allowing 284.9 passing yards, 481.3 total yards and 35.1 points per contest - all ranking near the bottom of the FBS.
They'll be facing the nation's No. 1 offense that's putting up 612.4 yards and 52.3 points a game.
"We've obviously played ourselves into a situation where we're going to play some teams and get their best shot. That's them having respect for us," Keenum said Tuesday. "We know we're going to have to go out and play our absolute best because we know we're going to get everybody's best shot. Everybody knows that they're going to come out and play well against us, so we know we've got to go out and play well against them."
Houston receivers Patrick Edwards and Tyron Carrier are also in the midst of record-setting performances. Edwards - among the FBS leaders with 1,069 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns - tied Vincent Marshall's school mark of 15 100-yard receiving games last week, catching seven passes for a career-best 318 yards with a program record-tying five scores.
Edwards is also one TD shy of matching Elmo Wright for the most in Houston history with 35.
Carrier, who has caught a pass in 47 straight games - the longest such streak in the nation - had seven receptions against Rice to set a Cougars record with 277. He also matched C.J. Spiller's NCAA mark for career kickoff returns with seven after running back the opening kickoff 100 yards.
"You can't (focus on one receiver) because they are not a one-man show by any means," UAB coach Neil Callaway said of the Cougars. "They have two of the best receivers in the country, and they have three or four other ones that are very good. They have three outstanding running backs, and obviously everyone knows about the quarterback. They've got weapons all over the field."
Despite the intimidating numbers, UAB appears eager for the challenge against Houston.
"We want a chance to play with the best and prove that we can hang with the best and beat the best," senior defensive tackle Adam Arthur said.
For that to happen, the Blazers must do a better job of protecting the ball in order to keep the powerful Houston offense off the field. UAB has committed 11 of its 19 turnovers in the last four games, and the Blazers' Jonathan Perry has been intercepted twice in each of the last two contests.
Keenum has faced UAB twice and thrown for 460 yards with three TDs and no interceptions, leading the Cougars to a pair of wins. The Blazers lead the series 4-3 but Houston has taken three of the last four meetings.