BRAD KEITH Sports Editor

Former Stephenville High School and University of Houston star Kevin Kolb raised the eyebrows of NFL analysts Sunday, passing for 242 yards and a touchdown for the Philadelphia Eagles in a pre-season game in Pittsburgh.

Kolb completed 26 of 37 pass attempts in the contest, earning a quarterback rating of 96.9. The performance left Eagles management feeling comfortable with Kolb as their third quarterback for the 2007 season, prompting a trade of Kelly Holcomb. This leaves only Kolb behind starter Donavan McNabb and back-up A.J. Feeley.

The rookie quarterback ran an offense consisting mostly of projected starters for part of the second quarter and the entire second half.

Kolb wrote about the dazzling performance in his digital diary, which is published on the Eagles’ official website, philadelphiaeagles.com.

“It was a great experience to get out there with the starters and see a little bit of time,” he wrote in the diary. “It was my first time out there with (the starters) so to get that chance to get together and learn some things with them, to communicate with them in a live situation, that was invaluable.

“Every time out there is a learning experience,” Kolb continued later in the diary entry. “I’ve come so far from the first day of training camp. The game has slowed down so much for me, and I know it is going to slow down even more every time I’m on the field. I appreciate all the time I’ve had in the pre-season, that’s for sure.”

The Stephenville native went on to share his disappointment that the Eagles were unable to come from behind and win the game. The Eagles fell to Pittsburgh, 27-13.

Kolb’s success in the game should come as no surprise to fans of Stephenville and Houston. After starring for the Yellow Jackets, he re-wrote the Cougars’ record book.

Under former Stephenville coaching legend Art Briles, Kolb started at Houston all four years of his collegiate record, setting six school records along the way.

Kolb passed for 12,964 yards while wearing Cougar red, and threw for 106 touchdowns. He also holds records for passes completed and attempted, going 964-1,565. He was responsible for 13,715 yards of total offense in his career. To put that into perspective, he covered 8.2 miles of real estate as the Houston field general.

Kolb was Philadelphia’s first pick in the 2007 draft, going 36th overall in the second round. He was the first draft pick out of Houston since 2005, and the highest Cougar drafted since 1997, according to the university’s athletic website, uhcougars.com.

Kolb will have one more chance to shine during the pre-season. He is expected to the majority of the snaps for the Eagles when they host the New York Jets at 6:30 p.m. central time.