By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Tight end Zach Ertz of Stanford, linebacker Eric Kendricks of UCLA and punter Daniel Zychlinski of Stanford have been named Pac-12 Players of the Week in football.
Ertz, a senior from Alamo, Calif., hauled in a career-high 11 receptions for 106 yards and accounted for the game-tying touchdown in final two minutes of regulation in Stanford’s 17-14 overtime victory over No. 1 Oregon. He caught four passes for 53 yards on Stanford’s final drive of the fourth quarter, capping the series with an acrobatic 10-yard touchdown reception in the back of the end zone that helped turn the tide in Stanford’s favor. He also played a pivotal role in the Cardinal’s rushing attack, blocking for a backfield that gained 200 yards on the ground. Ertz has 58 receptions -- tied for the Conference lead among tight ends-- for 747 yards on the season. His 747 receiving yards rank second among Pac-12 tight ends.
Kendricks, a sophomore from Fresno, Calif., collected 10 tackles, including a tackle for a loss, registered a pair of takeaways and blocked a punt in a 38-28 win over USC to earn his second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honor. He forced a fumble in the first quarter that led to a UCLA touchdown and intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter to help the Bruins to their first win over USC since 2006. His punt block, which came after USC had narrowed the margin to 24-20 in the third quarter, led to another UCLA touchdown, extending its lead to 31-20. Kendricks has recorded 112 total tackles (66 solo) on the year, a figure that tops the Conference.
Zychlinski, a senior from Tampa, Fla., punted six times for an average 45.7 yards per attempt, including boots of 62 and 58 yards, in Stanford’s upset win over Oregon. He was instrumental in limiting Oregon’s average starting field position to its own 23-yard line, as he placed five punts in side the 20-yard line (three inside the 10) and allowed just two punt return yards on the evening. He also was the holder on a wet field for the game-winning field goal in overtime. Zychlinski averages 42.9 yards per punt this season.
Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were quarterbacks Taylor Kelly of Arizona State, Sean Mannion of Oregon State and Keith Price of Washington, running back Johnathan Franklin of UCLA and wide receiver Austin Hill of Arizona. Also nominated on defense were defensive backs Keelan Johnson of Arizona State, Jordan Poyer of Oregon State and Eric Rowe of Utah, linebackers Marquis Flowers of Arizona, Michael Clay of Oregon and Shayne Skov of Stanford and defensive end Josh Shirley of Washington. Also nominated on special teams were running back Kylan Butler of Arizona and punter Jeff Locke of UCLA.