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Monday, November 23, 2009
Three non-AQs are finalist for national awards

By Graham Watson

Houston’s Case Keenum, Bowling Green’s Freddie Barnes and BYU’s Dennis Pitta have been named finalists for national awards.

Keenum has been named a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is awarded annually to the nation’s best quarterback. Texas’ Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow are also finalists.

Keenum leads the nation with 428.27 yards of total offense per game, 35.18 completions per game, 418.09 passing yards per game and 4,599 total passing yards. Houston is 9-2 and a win away from playing for the Conference USA title.

Barnes leads the nation with 1,482 receiving yards and 134.73 yards per game. He also leads the country with 11.73 receptions per game. He has eight 100-yard receiving games this season and six in a row, including a 278-yard performance against Kent State. He’s had eight games this season with 10 or more receptions.

Pitta is the nation’s top pass-catching tight end with 55 catches for 753 yards and seven touchdowns. He leads all tight ends with 68.45 yards per game and is tied for the most catches per game with five.