Nelson Named Pac-10 Defensive POW
Oct. 26, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Senior free safety Cam Nelson has been named the Pacific-10 Defensive Player of the Week by the league office following his performance in Arizona’s 27-13 victory over UCLA last Saturday at Arizona Stadium.
Nelson led an inspired Wildcat defensive unit that limited the Bruins to just 211 yards of offense and only six offensive points. UCLA did not score an offensive touchdown in the game.
In one of the best games in his career, Nelson recorded six solo tackles, a career-high two sacks and forced a pair of fumbles. Each of the forced fumbles led directly to offensive touchdowns.
The first forced fumble came on the heels of UA’s first offensive score as Nelson sacked Kevin Prince on the Bruins’ first play of the ensuing drive. After the turnover, Arizona scored three plays later to take a 13-0 first quarter lead.
In the third quarter, a UCLA field goal put it within a touchdown of the Wildcats, trailing only 13-7. The Bruins turned away the UA offense and had a chance to mount a game-tying drive. But on the third play of the drive, Nelson forced his second fumble of the game. The Wildcats took over possession near midfield, and six plays later re-extended their lead to 20-7.
Nelson is the third Wildcat to win a weekly honor from the league this season. Last week, Nick Foles was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week. In September, Devin Ross earned the defensive accolade following his game-clinching interception at Oregon State in UA’s first Pac-10 win of the season.
Arizona (5-2, 3-1 Pac-10) returned to the national rankings for the first time in nine years with its No. 23 slot in the Associated Press poll today. Last week, the Wildcats earned a No. 22 ranking in the first Bowl Championship Series ratings of the 2009 season and moved up to No. 20 following the win over the Bruins. UA is also ranked in USA Today coaches poll at No. 24.
The Wildcats second bye of the season comes at a good time this week as they look to get healthy before gearing up for a Homecoming game against Washington State on Saturday, Nov. 7, that will kickoff the crucial stretch run of Pac-10 Conference play.
Kickoff for the game against the Cougars has been officially set for 1:30 p.m. (MST) at Arizona Stadium. Complete local TV arrangements for the game will be finalized by next Monday.
Pac-10 Players of the Week Under Stoops:
2004: Antoine Cason vs. Northern Arizona (defense)
2005: Michael Johnson vs. Oregon State (defense)
Nick Folk vs. Oregon State (special teams)
2006: Antoine Cason vs. Washington State (defense)
Antoine Cason vs. California (defense)
Nick Folk vs. BYU (special teams)
Nick Folk vs. Oregon (special teams)
Chris Henry vs. Oregon (offense)
2007: Willie Tuitama vs. Washington (offense)
Spencer Larsen vs. Oregon (defense)
Antoine Cason vs. Oregon (special teams)
Keenyn Crier vs. USC (special teams)
Mike Thomas vs. Washington (special teams)
Jason Bondzio vs. UCLA (special teams)
2008: Keola Antolin vs. California (offense)
Keola Antolin vs. Toledo (special teams)
Corey Hall vs. UCLA (defense)
Mike Thomas vs. UCLA (special teams)
2009: Devin Ross vs. Oregon State (defense)
Nick Foles vs. Stanford (offense)
Cam Nelson vs. UCLA (defense)