Keenum wins top collegiate passer award for second time

The University of Houston’s Case Keenum is the winner of the 2011 Sammy Baugh Award, presented annually to college football’s top passer by The Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.

The honor was announced on Thursday and Keenum is just the second two-time winner of the award, joining former Baylor quarterback Don Trull, who won back-to-back seasons in 1962 and 1963. Keenum also won the award in 2009 as a junior.

The Baugh Award has enjoyed a Houston connection over the years. David Klingler accepted the honor in 1990 and current UH offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kliff Kingsbury won the award in 2002 while starring at Texas Tech.

Named in honor of former Texas Christian and Washington Redskins great Sammy Baugh, the trophy was first presented in 1959 and has been held by legendary passers including Steve Young, John Elway, Bob Griese, and last year’s winner, Landry Jones of Oklahoma.

“I want to thank everyone at the Touchdown Club of Columbus for this incredible honor,” Keenum said. “This is certainly a special award, one I am proud to share with my teammates and coaches.  A lot of people helped contribute to those touchdowns and those yards, so this is a meaningful honor for our entire program.”

Keenum has been dominating all season and capped a record-breaking regular season with 457 yards and five touchdown throws in the Conference USA West Division-clinching win at Tulsa. UH and Tulsa each entered the game unbeaten in C-USA play, but Keenum completed 33-of-46 passes without an interception and those five scores to lead the Cougars to the 48-16 victory.

It’s been a history-making senior season for the Abilene, Texas, native. He broke NCAA records for career passing yardage (18,312), total offense (19,217), touchdown passes (150), total touchdowns (173), completions (1,460) and 300-yard games (37). He owns virtually every NCAA career passing mark and is just 274 yards shy of becoming the first player in NCAA history with three career 5,000-yard seasons. 

Keenum is no stranger to finalist lists and national honors. In addition to being named the winner of the 2011 Baugh Award, he is also a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is given annually the nation’s top collegiate quarterback, a finalist for the Walter Camp National Player of the Year honor and was recently named a finalist for the 2011 Manning Award. Keenum is also a candidate for the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Keenum and No. 6 Houston (12-0, 8-0) return to action on Saturday morning vs. No. 23 Southern Miss (10-2, 6-2) in the 2011 Conference USA Championship Game, hosted at Robertson Stadium in Houston. The game is SOLD OUT and will be televised nationally on ABC at 11 a.m. CT.