Bill Swancutt Named Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year
Nov. 29, 2004
Walnut Creek, Calif. -
PAC-10 FOOTBALL AWARDS AND ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM ANNOUNCED
Quarterback Matt Leinart and tailback Reggie Bush of USC has been named Pac-10 Co-Offensive Players of the Year and linemen Bill Swancutt of Oregon State and Shaun Cody of USC have been named Pat Tillman Co-Defensive Players of the Year. In addition, tight end Zach Miller of Arizona State was named Freshman of the Year and Jeff Tedford of California was named Coach of the Year honors. The award winners are selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- MATT LEINART, QB, USC: Leinart, a junior from Santa Ana, Calif., has led USC to a 11-0 record and No. 1 national ranking. He becomes just the fourth player and only the second quarterback (Stanford's John Elway was the other) to be a two-time Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year selection. With one more regular season game still to go, Leinart has completed 227 of 343 passes (.662) for 2,748 yards and 28 TDs with just five interceptions. He currently ranks eighth in the nation in passing efficiency (157.5 rating). USC is 23-1 when Leinart starts and during the Trojans' current 20-game winning streak, he has thrown 58 TDs with just eight interceptions. Leinart is a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award, and is a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy after finishing sixth in last year's voting.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- REGGIE BUSH, TB, USC: Bush, a sophomore from Spring Valley, Calif., is an electrifying, multi-purpose player who excels as a running back and receiver, as well as a kickoff and punt returner. He leads the Pac-10 and ranks seventh nationally in all-purpose yardage at 167.8 yards per game. Bush leads the Pac-10 in punt returns with a 16.7-yard average, including two returns for touchdowns, and ranks second in kickoff returns at 27.2 yards. He has 1,846 all-purpose yards and is averaging 9.5 yards every time he touches the ball. He has scored a combined 13 touchdowns rushing, receiving and on punt returns this season. The Pac-10 coaches selected Bush as a first-team All-Conference selection at both tailback and punt returner and second-team as a kickoff returner. He earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season on both offense and special teams. Like his teammate QB Matt Leinart, he is a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
PAT TILLMAN CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- SHAUN CODY, DT, USC: Cody, a senior from Hacienda Heights, Calif., is a two-time All-Pac-10 selection who is one of many standouts on the USC defensive unit. Cody leads USC and ranks fifth in the Conference in quarterback sacks with eight and is the Trojan leader among defensive linemen in solo tackles with 25. He also has two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. The USC defensive unit leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense and ranks in the top eight in the nation all all those categories. Cody, who has played at both tackle and end this season, is a finalist for the 2004 Lombardi Award.
PAT TILLMAN CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- Bill Swancutt, DE, OREGON STATE: Swancutt, a senior from Salem, Ore., is the first Oregon State player ever selected as Pac-10 Player of the Year, offense or defense (the award started in 1975). He is the only unanimous selection on this year's All-Pac-10 Conference Football Team. Swancutt, a Beaver captain who has started 37 straight games, also was a first-team All-Academic selection this year, one of just two players in the league to be named to both teams. Swancutt ranks second in the Pac-10 in both quarterback sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (18.5) and has career totals of 37 QB sacks and 59.5 tackles for loss, both Oregon State career records. His 63 tackles this season is tops among Pac-10 down linemen.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR ZACH MILLER, TE, ARIZONA STATE: Miller, a true freshman from Phoenix, Ariz., stepped right into the starting tight end job at Arizona State and set Sun Devil freshman records for both receptions (51) and receiving yards (524). He ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in receiving and is the second-leading receiver among tight ends, trailing only All-Conference senior Alex Smith of Stanford.
COACH OF THE YEAR JEFF TEDFORD, CALIFORNIA: Tedford earns coach of the year honors for the second time in his three years at California for leading the Golden Bears to one of its best seasons in decades, continuing the remarkable turnaround he has engineered at Berkeley. With one regular-season game still to play, the Golden Bears are 9-1, 7-1 in Conference play, with the lone loss a six-point decision on the road at top-ranked USC. Cal has won seven Conference games for the first time since 1949 and nine regular-season games for only the second time since 1950. The Golden Bears are currently ranked No. 4 in the polls and BCS rankings, the best poll showing for Cal since 1952. Tedford is known for his offensive prowess and California's numbers reflect that. The Bears rank first in the Pac-10 in scoring offense (38.4), total offense (489.6), rushing offense (253.7) and pass efficiency (170.6), with all of those figures ranking in the top seven nationally. But it is not just offense, as Tedford's Bears also rank in the top three in the league in all the major defensive categories as well. Taking over a team that had finished 1-10 in 2001, Tedford has led California to marks of 7-5 in 2002, 8-6 in 2003 and 9-1 so far in '04.