Taylor, Westgate and Whitaker Named Pac-10 Football Players of the Week

WALNUT CREEK,Calif.--Center Ryan Taylor of UCLA, linebacker Sean Westgate of UCLA and place kicker Nate Whitaker of Stanford have been named Pac-10 Players of the Week in football.

Taylor, a senior from Denison, Texas, keyed the Bruin running attack that accounted for 264 yards against the No. 1 rushing defense in the 34-12 win at then-No. 7 Texas. UCLA’s ground game was instrumental in the Bruins eating up 35:29 on the clock, compared to 24:31 time of possession for Texas. Taylor is the first lineman to earn the Pac-10 weekly offensive honor since Oregon tackle Adam Snyder claimed the award on Sept. 20, 2003.

Westgate, a junior from Oak Park, Calif., collected a career-high and team-high 11 tackles (seven solos) and forced a fumble on a punt to set up UCLA’s first touchdown of the game. The Bruin defense limited Texas to 85 yards rushing and 264 yards passing (85 passing yards came on Texas’ final possession of the game). Westgate leads the team with 32 tackles and ranks tied for seventh in the Pac-10, averaging 8.0 per game.

Whitaker, a senior from San Diego, Calif., matched a single-game Stanford record with five field goals as he was successful on all five of his attempts from 24, 41, 36, 33, and 29 yards. He added two PAT to tally 17 points in the Cardinal’s 37-14 win at Notre Dame.

Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were wide receiver Juron Criner of Arizona, and running backs Deantre Lewis of Arizona State and Shane Vereen of California, quarterback Darron Thomas of Oregon, and running backs Stepfan Taylor of Stanford and Stanley Havili of USC. Also nominated on defense were defensive tackle Justin Washington of Arizona, defensive back Chris Conte of California, linebacker Casey Matthews of Oregon, linebacker Shayne Skov of Stanford, and cornerback Nickell Robey of USC. Also nominated for special teams play were punter Trevor Hankins of Arizona State, punter Jackson Rice of Oregon, wide receiver/returner James Rodgers of Oregon State, punter Jeff Locke of UCLA and defensive end Wes Horton of USC.

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