Pac-12 announces football players of the week
SAN FRANCISCO - Quarterback Cody Kessler of USC, linebacker Eric Kendricks of UCLA and wide receiver Kaelin Clay of UTAH have been named offensive, defensive and special teams Pac-12 Players of the Week in football.
Kessler, a junior from Bakersfield, Calif., threw for a career-high 394 yards versus Fresno State while hitting 25-of-37 passes with 4 TDs (all tying career bests) and he also opened the game’s scoring with a 1-yard sneak as part of his 28 rushing yards. In the first half, he threw for 309 yards on 21-of-30 passing. He helped a USC offense, which ran a Pac-12 record 105 plays, compile 701 total yards and 37 first downs in the 52-13 victory.
Kendricks, a senior from Fresno, Calif., totaled a game-high 16 tackles, one shy of his career high in UCLA's 28-20 win at Virginia. He added a forced fumble which led to a 75-yard scoring return for a touchdown and, on Virginia's next possession, an interception which he returned 37-yards for a touchdown and resulted in the Bruins taking a 21-3 lead. The turnovers were part of a three turnover-returns second quarter which produced a trio of touchdowns for the first time at UCLA since a 1986 game at Oregon State. Kendricks, who was very active in the first half, recorded seven of his tackles in that second quarter. In the second half, two of his stops came on Virginia third down plays.
Clay, a senior from Long Beach, Calif, made an explosive Ute debut with a pair of long-distance touchdown returns during Utah’s season-opening 56-14 win over Idaho State. On his first touch as a Ute, Clay returned a punt 46 yards for a touchdown late in the first half. It was Utah’s first punt return for a touchdown since 2010. One quarter later, Clay returned his first and only kickoff return of the game 100 yards for a touchdown. He was the only Pac-12 player, and one of only four in FBS, to return a kickoff 100 yards during the opening weekend. He became the first Pac-12 player since 1999 (Deltha O’Neal, California) to score a touchdown on a punt return and a kickoff return in the same game.
Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Anu Solomon, QB, ARIZ; D.J. Foster, RB, ASU; Marcus Mariota, QB, ORE; Storm Woods, RB, OSU; Ty Montgomery, WR/PR, STAN; Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA; Devontae Booker, RB, UTAH; Connor Halliday, QB, WSU
Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, ARIZ; Jalen Jefferson, LB, CAL; Erick Dargan, S, ORE; Tyrequek Zimmerman, S, OSU; Wayne Lyons, CB, STAN; Leonard Williams, DE, USC; Nate Orchard, DE, UTAH
Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Casey Skowron, K, ARIZ; Zane Gonzalez, PK, ASU; Charles Nelson, PR, ORE; Garrett Owens, PK, OSU; Ty Montgomery WR/PR, STAN; Ishmael Adams, DB, UCLA