Fred Faour: Now that Clayton Tune’s career is over, where does he rank among UH’s all-time best quarterbacks?

Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune threw seven touchdowns and three interceptions in Saturday’s loss to SMU. (Courtesy Houston Athletics)

Fred Faour: Now that Clayton Tune’s career is over, where does he rank among UH’s all-time best quarterbacks?

Quarterback Clayton Tune finished his career at UH when the Cougars closed out a disappointing 2022 with a tight 23-16 win over Louisiana to finish 8-5 on the season. Tune was very solid in his second straight bowl win, with 18 of 28 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 11 times for 56 yards in the victory, and he led the game-winning drive. But how will we look back on the Tune era?

Tune’s numbers at UH are pretty impressive. He finishes his career second all-time at UH in touchdown passes, third in career yardage, and will finish with two of the top-10 passing yard seasons in UH history.

But where does that stack up? It’s hard to quantify sometimes – Is Andre Ware’s one-year Heisman worth more than Case Keenum’s career? We only go back to the Run-and-Shoot era, but here are the top QBs in UH history:


You can certainly pitch Ware for this spot, and not many would fault you. But Keenum’s overall body of work wins out. All-time NCAA leader in passing yards, touchdowns, and completions. He has the top two passing yard seasons in UH history and three of the top four, all over 5,000 yards. And he had the memorable nine-touchdown game against Rice. While others had more single-season win success, Keenum sets the standard here.


Ware won the Heisman in 1989 with 4,699 passing yards and 46 TDs. The Award is the only one in school history, and you could easily make a case for No. 1 on this list. Ware helped introduce the college football world to the Run-and-Shoot offense.


Perhaps the most underappreciated star quarterback in UH history, all Ward did was win games. He led the Cougars to their 13-1 record, a New Year’s Six Bowl win, and an American Conference championship. Ward’s passing stats aren’t as flashy as some of the others, but he was a terrific runner, including a 1,000-yard season. And a winner.


Ushered the UH program back to prominence when Art Briles took over and turned the reigns over to Kolb. He would go on to have the second-most passing yards in school history behind Keenum. Like Ward, he led Houston to a conference title (C-USA). In his last season, he threw 30 touchdowns to just four interceptions.

Which brings us to a dilemma for the No. 5 spot, and the winner is …


We mentioned his accomplishments above. It’s enough to give him the edge over David Klingler, who had one of the great seasons in NCAA history but was not nearly as good his senior year. Tune’s crowning achievement will be last year’s 12-2 season with a bowl win over Auburn and an AAC title appearance. He might not have always been appreciated at UH, but in a school known for quarterbacks, his legacy stands up well.

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1 Comment

  • Nice read Fred as always. He is a gamer, that’s for sure and I wish him nothing but the best and would like to thank him for his leadership, toughness and just being an overall great man. Good luck at the next level and life in general.

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