Las Vegas Nevada Events
December 20, 2011 by staff
The junior running back knew it had the potential to be a special night for him and seven other Beavers who also played high school football in Las Vegas.
It became a Christmas Eve to remember.
Jackson scored five touchdowns, four on the ground, and rushed for 149 yards to lead Oregon State to a 55-14 rout of New Mexico.
Immediately after the game, Jackson announced he’d forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.
As the Las Vegas Bowl reaches its 20-year milestone this week, Jackson’s high-scoring night was voted the best performance of the first 19 games by a local six-person panel.
“The biggest thing before the game started, I wanted to perform big and put on a show for my family and friends who hadn’t had the chance to watch me play since high school,” said Jackson, who played at Eldorado High School and is closing in on his seventh 1,000-yard rushing season for the St. Louis Rams.
“I was thinking if I should come back for my senior season. But I had such an impressive night, we agreed it would be a nice way to go out, in the final collegiate game of my career and in my hometown.”
The game is now known as MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, and eighth-ranked Boise State (11-1) and Arizona State (6-6) will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
In recognition of the 20-year milestone, the Review-Journal asked five longtime Las Vegas Bowl watchers to join this reporter in ranking the top players, events and games of the first 19 editions. The panelists were bowl president Rob Dondero, bowl executive director Tina Kunzer-Murphy, bowl executive committee member Jennifer Logan, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority chief executive officer Rossi Ralenkotter and bowl media relations director Mark Wallington.
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