Pac-12 football players of the week announced

SAN FRANCISCO - Quarterback Cody Kessler of USC, linebacker Scooby Wright III of ARIZONA and punter Tom Hackett of UTAH, have been named offensive, defensive and special teams Pac-12 Players of the Week in football.

Kessler, a junior from Bakersfield, Calif., completed 32 of 40 pass attempts (including 16 consecutive at one point) for 372 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions in USC’s 49-14 victory over Notre Dame. Kessler’s six touchdown throws were a Trojan single-game record against the Irish, a rivalry that has featured 85 matchups. The win ended the Trojans two-game losing streak against Notre Dame. On the year Kessler finished with 36 touchdown throws to just four interceptions, with the nation’s fourth-highest passing efficiency rating (168.8).

Wright, a sophomore from Windsor, Calif., spearheaded an Arizona defense by making numerous big plays to lead the Wildcats to victory over No. 13 Arizona State, 42-35, clinching Arizona’s first-ever South division title and punching its ticket to the Pac-12 Championship game. Wright finished with a game-high 13 tackles, including 5.0 for loss, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble. Wright delivered a pivotal play to give Arizona early momentum when he sacked ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly on the opening possession, forcing a fumble that was recovered and returned by Anthony Lopez for a 25-yard defensive touchdown. It was Wright’s sixth forced fumble of the year, the most by any FBS player. The linebacker would go on to register four more tackles for loss, giving him 5.0 for the game, the most by any Arizona player since Marcus Bell had 5.0 in 1998. Wright and the UA defense held Arizona State to 380 total yards on 87 plays, an average of just 4.4 yards per play, which ties for the lowest per play mark in the Sun Devils’ last 19 games against the Wildcats. Wright improved his season numbers to 139 total tackles, 14.0 sacks, 27.0 sacks and six forced fumbles. He is the only player in the FBS to rank in the top five of each of those four categories.

Hackett, a junior from Melbourne, Australia, averaged 55.8 yards on five punts in Utah’s 38-34 win over Colorado. When Utah was backed up on its own 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter, Hackett boomed a career long 70-yard punt, (the longest punt in the Pac-12 this season) and forced CU to start what proved to be its final offensive series on its own 23- yard line. Hackett also sparked a third-quarter touchdown drive that brought the Utes within two points of the Buffs (24-22) on a fake punt play on fourth-and-nine when he rushed for 24 yards to extend the drive. Hackett finished the year ranked third in the nation in punting, averaging 47.0 yards per punt.

Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Nick Wilson, RB, ARIZ; Kenny Lawler WR, CAL; Marcus Mariota, QB; ORE; Kevin Hogan, QB, STAN; Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA; Travis WIlson, QB, UTAH; Dwayne Washington, RB, WASH; Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA; J.R. Tavai, LB, USC; Dominique Hatfield, DB, UTAH; Andrew Hudson, DE, WASH; Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Casey Skowron, PK, ARIZ; Will Oliver, PK, COLO; Ka’imi Fairbairn, K, UCLA; Andre Heidari, PK, USC

2014 Player of the Week History

Week Offensive Defensive Special Teams
Sept. 1 Cody Kessler, USC Eric Kendricks, UCLA Kaelin Clay, UTAH
Sept. 8 Marcus Mariota, ORE Leonard Williams, USC Andre Heidari, USC
Sept. 15 Jerry Neuheisel, UCLA Shaq Thompson, WASH Ishmael Adams, UCLA
Sept. 22 Cayleb Jones, ARIZ Gionni Paul, UTAH Andy Phillips, UTAH
Sept. 29 Brett Hundley, UCLA Peter Kalambayi, STAN Ishmael Adams, UCLA
Oct. 6 Connor Halliday, WSU Nate Orchard, UTAH Trevor Davis, CAL
Oct. 13 Javorius Allen, USC Shaq Thompson, WASH Ty Montgomery, STAN
Oct. 20 Cody Kessler, USC Damarious Randall, ASU Andy Phillips, UTAH
Oct. 27 Marcus Mariota, ORE Scooby Wright III, ARIZ Adoree' Jackson, USC
Nov. 3 Marcus Mariota, ORE Scooby Wright III, ARIZ Zane Gonzalez, ASU
Nov. 10 Luke Falk, WSU Lloyd Carrington, ASU Ka’imi Faibairn, UCLA
Nov. 24 Nick Wilson, ARIZ Eric Kendricks, UCLA Drew Riggleman, ARIZ
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