Why was David Klingler throwing record-breaking touchdowns passes in the fourth quarter of Houston's 84-21 rout of Eastern Washington?
Because he needed to get his pitches in. Let Houston coach John Jenkins explain."Nolan Ryan takes so many throws in a ball game and a quarterback needs to have so many plays a game," Jenkins said after Klingler threw an NCAA record 11 touchdown passes before leaving the game with 8:24 left.
"It was just a normal Cougar game. With the week off and all the distractions of going to Japan and the holidays, I wanted to get him his plays."
Eastern Washington coach Dick Zornes had another explanation, something similar to the criticism leveled by SMU coach Forrest Gregg after the Jack Pardee-led Cougars rolled to a 95-21 victory over the Mustangs last year.
"He just might be building up a repertoire of people who want to get back at him," Zornes said of Jenkins. "I might not be one of them but I encourage everyone else to do it."
Klingler, who also tied the NCAA record of 47 TD passes in a season (BYU's Jim McMahon, 1980), was warming up for the 14th-ranked Cougars' final game on Dec. 1 against Arizona State in Tokyo. Houston (9-1), on NCAA probation, is ineligible for postseason play.
Klingler threw touchdown passes on Houston's first six drives to take a 42-14 halftime lead. He added three more TD passes in a 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.
For some Houston players, like receiver Tracy Good, the game was more like a workout. "It was pretty much like practice," said Good, who caught a 7-yard TD pass, said. "We've had harder practices."