Roundup: Hercules Mata'afa named Polynesian College Football Player of the Year

Washington State Athletics

Washington State

Washington State defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa was named the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year, it was announced Tuesday. This award is starting out making its home regularly in the Pac-12, with Marcus Mariota winning it in 2014 and Sefo Liufau taking it home in 2016.


Here’s Mirin Fader’s feature on Stanford volleyball outside hitter Kathryn Plummer, the espnW Player of the Year. I’ve only been watching/covering volleyball for eight years, but she’s definitely one of the most dominant players I have ever seen.


Joey Kaufman reports that USC running back Ronald Jones will play in the Cotton Bowl instead of opting to prepare for the NFL Draft. The junior is currently projected as a second-round pick by one site, Kaufman notes.

Arizona State

Arizona State defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will leave the team after the Sun Devils’ bowl game against NC State in the Sun Bowl, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN reports.


Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Arizona wants a big game out of quarterback Khalil Tate in the Foster Farms Bowl. The Wildcats play Purdue at Levi’s Stadium on Dec. 27.


Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reports that UCLA assistant coaches Scott White (LBs) and Demetrice Martin (DBs) have been let go and won’t coach in the Cactus Bowl against Kansas State.


While Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal hasn’t given an update on his status, Boise State is expecting to face running back Royce Freeman in the Las Vegas Bowl Saturday afternoon, notes Ryan Thorburn of The Register-Guard.

Oregon State

Oregon State men’s basketball outlasted Jacksonville State 70-69 Tuesday night at Gill Coliseum behind 18 points from Stephen Thompson.


The Utah-BYU men’s basketball rivalry will be renewed Saturday, and BYU head coach Dave Rose thinks the game will have a lot of “unnecessary hype,” according to Jay Drew of The Salt Lake Tribune.


Pat Rooney chronicles Colorado men’s basketball’s shooting struggles in its 69-59 loss to San Diego Tuesday night. The Buffs shot a Coors Events Center-Buffaloes-worst 25.9 percent from the floor; yikes.


Ryan S. Clark of The News Tribune tells us how Washington’s offensive line play improved after losing left tackle Trey Adams, who suffered a season-ending knee injury early in October.


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he has been medically cleared to return to the field. The former Cal QB broke his collarbone eight weeks ago, and former UCLA QB Brett Hundley has helped the Pack go 3-4 in Rodgers’ absence.

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