It's time to being our wrap-up of the 2010 C-USA regular season by handing out some post season awards. We kick it off with our "Most Hated Opposing Player Award." This award goes to the opposing player that Miner fans simply hope they never have to play again because an ability to shred the Miners on offense or defense. "Hate" is a strong word but this award really is a sign of respect when it comes down to it. On to the nominees....
1. Donald Brown (Marshall DB)
We can thank Brown for perhaps the biggest backbreaker of a play against UTEP this season: Trevor Vittatoe's infamous 'Pick 2.' UTEP had a full nelson around their first C-USA road win in over two years when Trevor hit Kris Adams on a 28 yard touchdown with five minutes to play. The Miners were about to go up 14-7 with Marshall completely exhausted. Instead, Brown jumped the pattern and raced from end zone to end zone. The play ignited the Marshall bench and the Herd escaped with a 16-12 win.
2. Casey Robottom (Tulane WR)
What a game Robottom had in the Sun Bowl. 10 catches. 151 yards. 2 touchdowns. Robottom had season highs in yards and receptions against the Miners and was the single biggest reason why Tulane handled UTEP 34-24 in the Sun Bowl. First, when UTEP took a 17-10 lead, Robottom took advantage of an Antwon Blake slip and tied the game up. The real backbreaker came in the fourth quarter when Robottom burned our UTEP's best defensive back Travaun Nixon on a 43 yard bomb that gave Tulane a 31-24 lead.
3. Bryce Beall (Houston RB)
It was Beall, not Case Keenum, that decimated UTEP in the week 2 battle in Houston. Beall decimated UTEP's defense for 195 yards on 10 carries with three touchdowns. Beall's 195 yards was by far the best output of his season. Aside from gashing UTEP for 10.5 yards per carry, Beall gave every future Miner opponent a blueprint of how to best attack the young UTEP defense: by running right at the heart of it.
4. Frantrell Forrest & Justin Brooks (UAB WR & RB)
Another player who had a career day against the Miners. Forrest had half of his 2010 touchdown output against the Miners when in the second half of UAB's 21-6 win when he caught 2 touchdowns that sucked the life out of UTEP's four game winning streak. The UAB game was perhaps the ugliest of UTEP's season. The Miners missed some early chances to score touchdowns but still led 6-0 before UAB, led by Forrest, took advantage of a UTEP offense that was seemingly stuck in the mud. Brooks had one good season in 2010 and it came against UTEP. Against UTEP, Brooks had 81 yards rushing. On the season he had 169 yards. I'll put it this way. In the nice other games Brooks played in, he rushed for 88 yards. He had 81 against UTEP.
5. Damaris Johnson (WR/KR Tulsa)
This was an oversight on my part, I should have included Damaris as a nominee here based on the fact that he had a ridiculous 280 total yards against the Miners. Rushing, Johnson rushed 6 times for 22 yards with a TD. Receiving, Johnson caught six passes for a ridiculous 146 receiving yards (24.3 average). Returning, Johnson had a 62 yard kickoff return and 112 total return yards. Plus, I also don't like Johnson who was named the first team All C-USA return man over Marlon McClure and a second team wide receiver over Kris Adams. To be fair, Johnson is not one of the guys I would have bumped off those teams for Marlon or Adams but I'm still bitter.