The Unusual Suspects: Las Vegas Bowl

AMIDST ALL THE 50 mile per hour winds, turnovers and penalties, OSU broke their five game bowl winning streak, failed to reach nine wins for the first time since 2005, and will be hard pressed to gain respect from final poll voters after falling 44-20 to BYU. Despite the poor and seemingly uninspired performance, there were a few bright spots. Granted, you have to look hard, but they're there.

Two of them should have Beaver fans excited about the potential of 2010. Here are our Las Vegas Bowl unusual suspects:

Damola Adeniji -- A fantastic finish for a fully deserving individual.

Adeniji was the lone bright spot on the OSU offense and finished his 2009 career with a 100 yard game and a score.

The touchdown and 102 yards on seven receptions last night gave Adeniji 803 yards and five scores in his senior season. Not bad for a former walk-on.

As a second option behind James Rodgers, Adeniji followed the lead of predecessors Brandon Powers and Shane Morales and in just one year as a full time starter, put together an outstanding season.

Adeniji was also the epitome of determination and his story is one that should be forever remembered and admired.

Stephen Paea – He didn't show up big on the stat sheet, d-tackles generally don't, but from the first snap he made his presence felt and was a regular disruption in the backfield.

Paea has said he will be back next year and thankfully, for Beaver fans, that means good things for the defensive front four in 2010.

Paea earned first team all conference with his bullish style of play and with another year of experience could end up a first round pick in the 2011 draft.

Ryan Katz – Get ready Beaver Nation, 2009 is over and onward we go to 2010.

Leading the way may be the agile and strong armed Ryan Katz who showcased his versatility last night in mop up duties.

True, Katz finished 2-for-6 but two balls were dropped by receivers. He threw for 46 yards and a score from 31 yards out to Adeniji that was put right on the money – as pretty a pass as you'll see..

Katz also eluded the pass rush and managed to pick up nine yards with his feet, something OSU hasn't had the luxury of unleashing since Matt Moore in 2006.

There will be competition this spring and fall for the QB spot -- junior Peter Lalich will be in the mix, as will redshirt frosh Cody Vaz, who some think could be special, and Jack Lomax, who has about as good a quarterback DNA as you can get (see Beaver State legend Neil Lomax.) But Katz has looked poised and possesses mobility and a rocket. And he opened the '10 competition in impressive form last night.


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