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Pac-12 collects football awards for nation's top running back, kicker

Dec 7, 2017

Some of college football's most prestigious hardware was handed out Thursday night in Atlanta. Here are some of the student-athletes from the Conference of Champions that collected awards.


Doak Walker Award: Bryce Love

With the Heisman Trophy ceremony on the horizon Saturday, Bryce Love firmly established himself as the nation's best running back by collecting the Walker Award. The junior from Wake Forest, North Carolina is the first Cardinal recipient since Toby Gerhart in 2009.

Love leads all Power 5 rushers in yards, yards per carry and yards per game. His 12 carries of over 50 yards set an FBS record, while he tied a school record by running for over 100 yards in 11 games. With 1,973 yards on the season, he needs just 47 more yards in the Alamo Bowl against TCU to break Christian McCaffrey's single-season Stanford record from 2015.

Love will try to take home college football's top honor on Saturday night in New York City.


Lou Groza Award: Matt Gay

Matt Gay made it a three-peat for the Pac-12 as he took home the award for best kicker in college football. The Utah junior follows Arizona State's Zane Gonzalez (2016) and UCLA's Ka'imi Fairbairn (2015).

Gay had a stellar 2017, converting a Pac-12-leading 87% of field goals attempted. He led the nation with 27 field goals made (also a Utah single-season record), 2.25 field goals made per game and five field goals over 50 yards. A pair of 56-yard field goals this seacond is tied for second longest in the country. Gay becomes the first Ute to claim the Groza Award.

Walter Camp All-American Teams

Four Pac-12 student-athletes were named to the Walter Camp All-American first team on Thursday night. Continuing a theme. Stanford's Love was named to the first-team backfield alongside Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Washington State senior Cody O'Connell earned his second First Team All-American nod, while Washington's Dante Pettis was selected as kick returner. WSU junior Hercules Mata'afa filled out the first-team picks with a spot on the defensive line.

A pair of Utes appeared on the Second Team All-American list, with Gay chosen as kicker and Mitch Wishnowsky claiming the punter position.

Associated Press All-Pac-12 Team

By unaninmous vote, Love was named the AP's All-Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Thursday evening. Rounding out the news service's top conference awardees were Defensive Player of the Year Hercules Mata'afa (Washington State), Newcomer of the Year Khalil Tate (Arizona) and Coach of the Year Clay Helton (USC).

See all of the first and second team selections here.