NFL Houston TexansKansas City Chiefs

Case Keenum Will Start As Houston Texans QB, Brings Hometown Pride

Case Keenum, Houston Texans QB

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum will have his first-ever NFL start when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

This is big news in our stomping grounds, Abilene, Texas. His father, Steve Keenum, former head football coach of my alma mater, Division II candidate McMurry University, told Abilene CBS affiliate KTAB News sports director David Robinett his feelings and expectations about his son’s upcoming start:

“Pride, appreciation for the work he’s put in, thankfulness for the gifts God’s given him… He’s gonna go out there and play as hard as he can play, and he’s going to grin the whole time.”

Speaking of smiles, one “Smiles” Miles Austin also had gotten his big break in Kansas City back in 2009. The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver finished his first league start with 10 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns that ultimately led to a win in overtime. Austin had filled in on the field for former Dallas WR Roy Williams, who had suffered bruised ribs.

Keenum now faces a similar situation with regular starting QB Matt Schaub out mending his right ankle injury. Sunday will show Keenum’s first NFL regular season appearance after playing during the 2013 preseason since joining Houston’s practice squad in 2012.

Will Keenum also have a dream-come-true victory at Arrowhead Stadium during his debut?

That definitely would be ideal for him and for Houston, who was off to a decent start at the beginning of the season by beating its first two opponents, the San Diego Chargers and the Tennessee Titans. However, since then, the Texans have fallen short the following four weeks against the Baltimore Ravens, the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams.

According to Adam Schefter’s briefing on ESPN’s SportsCenter this morning, the Texans need that “spark” this weekend with a comeback against the Chiefs, who are undefeated as of Week 6. The team is looking to break its four-game losing streak.

Keenum has come a long way since shining in the Friday Night Lights with the Wylie Bulldogs and his college football days with the Houston Cougars. Among his NCAA career bests, he achieved 559 passing yards out of 569 total offensive yards against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Halloween almost four years ago. His record-setting pass yardage was what must have impressed analysts the most during the 2012 NFL Draft.

So please bring on your best again, Keenum; Abilene and Texans alike are counting on you. Let history be made once again by a pro Texas player in Kansas City with this Cinderella story about Keenum’s cleats fitting into this role as starting QB.

This could work as long as Keenum and his teammates share mutual trust because we already know that this QB can kick serious pass.

Elaine Dispo is a Dallas Mavericks writer for Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.