David Klingler threw an NCAA-record 11 touchdown passes and tied the NCAA season record of 47 scoring throws in a season, leading No. 12 Houston to an 84-21 victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday.
A week ago, the Texas Longhorns beat Houston, 45-24, knocking the Cougars (9-1) out of a chance to win the national championship and ending their 12-game winning streak. Klingler wanted to put that behind them in a hurry.
“That (the record) is nice, something I might look back on, but what’s important is the won-loss and I wish we had that one last week,” Klingler said. “I wish we could switch weeks, but this is the best week I’ve had as far as accuracy.”
The Cougars scored on their first six possessions on passes by Klingler, who extended his NCAA record of most 400-yard passing performances in a season to eight.
“It was pretty much like practice,” receiver Tracy Good said. “We’ve had harder practices. Their defensive backs weren’t too fast. It was like a scrimmage, really.”
Eastern Washington hadn’t been beaten so badly in 68 years. Coach Dick Zornes was not too happy after he watched his Eagles suffer their worst loss since they were beaten 81-0 by the Washington State freshman team in 1922.
“They’ve got great athletes and they leave them in from the beginning to the end,” Zornes said. “That’s him (Houston Coach John Jenkins). Some day, he’ll be on the other end of the broom.
“The things I believe in obviously aren’t the same things he believes in. He’s probably disappointed he couldn’t leave them in the last five minutes.”
Klingler completed 41 of 58 passes for 452 yards and left the game with 8:24 to play.
Jenkins has become accustomed to hearing teams complaints about the Cougars running up the score.
“We go at everyone with the same tempo, the 49ers or St. Mary’s Cathedral,” Jenkins said. “David deserves to get his reps. I’m not going to take him out at the half. National records had nothing to do with it.”
The Cougars, whose 12-game winning streak was snapped last week by Texas, burst to a 42-14 halftime lead on Klingler’s touchdown passes, including two each to Chuck Weatherspoon and Manny Hazard and one each to John Brown III and Tracy Good.
Klingler threw touchdowns of 40 yards to Verlon Brown, eight and seven to Patrick Cooper in the 21-point third quarter to tie the NCAA record of nine touchdown passes in a game by San Diego State’s Dennis Shaw in 1969.
The record came with 13:35 left on an eight-yard touchdown pass to TiAndre Sanders after a 57-yard punt return by Weatherspoon. Klingler’s 51-yarder to Marcus Grant with 12:40 left in the game tied the NCAA mark of 47 touchdown passes in a season, set by BYU’s Jim McMahon in 1980.
Weatherspoon became the fourth player in Southwest Conference history to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.