• No. 18 Houston 73, Rice 34: It’d be nice if more television types knew about the Bayou Bucket trophy awarded annually to the winner of the Cougars-Owls game. With torrential downpours soaking the field at Robertson Stadium Thursday night, bucket bailout jokes were low-hanging fruit, and criminally underused. The rivalry game will move to Reliant Stadium beginning in 2012, where perhaps the participants will enjoy better drainage.
Sopping conditions contributed to a first quarter that looked like it might lead to a ballgame. Before rain even began to fall in earnest, Houston’s Tyron Carrier returned the Owls’ opening kickoff for a touchdown, his seventh such feat, tying a previous record set by C.J. Spiller at Clemson. Rice fired back with a strong running game, returned a soggy Keenum fumble for a touchdown and seemed quite determined to hang with the Cougars until three consecutive touchdown passes from Houston put the game out of reach by halftime, 38-20.
And Keenum, you might have heard, broke Graham Harrell’s career touchdown passes record with his fifth strike of the night — and just for kicks, fired off four more before relinquishing his helmet in the fourth quarter. Quoth the quarterback, postgame: “That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing football.” Yeah, probably. [RECAP | BOX]
• Virginia 28, Miami 21: Available data gave the ‘Canes the edge in a Thursday night Coastal Division home stand. Never tell Mike London the odds. His Cavaliers employed a handful of trick plays and abandoned their previously favored quarterback rotation to ride Michael Rocco, Perry Jones and Kevin Parks to victory. [RECAP | BOX]