Pac-12 Football Year in Review
The Pac-12 South Division Breaks Through In The Pac-12 FCG
Record Setting Performances Highlight 2017 Pac-12 Football Season
USC ENDS NORTH DIVISION’S STREAK: USC becomes the first South Division team to capture the Pac-12 title. After the North Division teams (Oregon, Stanford and Washington) won the Conference’s first six Pac-12 Football Championship Games, the Trojans ended the North Division streak with a 31-28 win over Stanford at Levi’s Stadium to claim their 39th conference crown.
RECORD SETTERS: The following individuals have etched their names in the record books with outstanding season and career performances:
• Washington’s Dante Pettis set an FBS career record with his ninth punt return for a touchdown. Pettis became the Pac-12’s all-time leader in punt return yardage with 1,274 yards.
• Washington State’s Luke Falk has established numerous Pac-12 career passing marks, most notably 14,486 passing yards and 119 touchdown passes.
• Stanford’s Bryce Love rushed for a school single-season record 2,118 yards (broke Christian McCaffrey’s two-year old record of 2,019 yards) (2nd in Pac-12 history to USC’s Marcus Allen’s 2,427 yards set in 1981).
• Arizona’s Khalil Tate set a Pac-12 season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,411 yards.
• Oregon’s Royce Freeman set the Oregon career mark with 5,499 rushing yards, second all-time in the Pac-12. His 60 rushing touchdowns are also a Pac-12 record.
• Washington’s Myles Gaskin tied a Pac-12 record held by 11 others when he posted his third season with 1,000 rushing yards (1,302, 1,373 and 1,380). He owns the Husky career record with 45 rushing touchdowns.
• Five Pac-12 players have rushed for 1,400 or more yards this season, marking just the second time in Pac-12 history that five players have rushed for 1,400 yards in a season (matches the 2012 season).
• Colorado’s Phillip Lindsay is CU’s career all-purpose yards leader. His 5,926 all-purpose yards rank seventh all-time in the Pac-12.
• Utah’s Matt Gay established a Pac-12 record for field goals (30). He also set a school single-season record with five 50+ yard field goals.
• California senior PK Matt Anderson surpassed Doug Brien to become Cal’s career leading scorer with 316 points. In the process, Anderson became Cal’s all-time leader with 60 field goals.
Nine Teams Go Bowling: Nine Pac-12 teams participated in the postseason, tied for second all-time in the Pac-12 (9 teams in 2013, 10 teams in 2015). That provides the Pac-12 with at least eight teams participating in the postseason in five of the last six years. Despite a 1-8 postseason record, the Pac-12 has produced a 22-21 (.512) bowl record over the last five years. Only one other Power 5 conference has produced a better bowl winning percentage in that span.
PAC-12 FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:
RUN WITH IT: The Pac-12 had five of the nation’s top 13 rushers, and nine of the top 44. The nine 1,000-yard rushers are the most in a single-season in Pac-12 history, surpassing the previous best of seven set in 2011 and 2014.:
No. 2 - Bryce Love (162.9 ypg) - 12 TDs of 50+ yards. 8.05 yards per carry
No. 7 - Khalil Tate, ARIZ (128.3 ypg) - 1,411 yards rushing is a single-season Pac-12 record for QB
No. 10 - Royce Freeman, ORE (122.9 ypg) - UO’s career leader, 2nd all-time in Pac-12 (5,621 yards)
No. 11 - Phillip Lindsay, COLO (122.8 ypg) - CU’s career all-purpose yards leader (5,926 yards)
No. 13 - Ronald Jones II, USC (119.2 ypg) - 1,550 rushing yards - back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons
No. 22 - Myles Gaskin, WASH (106.2 ypg) - 1,380 rushing yards - third straight 1,000-yard season
No. 27 - Patrick Laird, CAL (102.5 ypg) - 1,127 rushing yards (16th Cal player all-time to reach 1,000 yards)
No. 38 - Zack Moss, UTAH (90.2 ypg) - 1,173 rushing yards. Went over 1,000 in the regular season final with a career-high 196 yards vs. Colorado.
No. 44 - Demario Richard, ASU (85.6 ypg) - 1,027 rushing yards - second career 1,000-yard season.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: WASHINGTON STATE senior QB Luke Falk closed out his campaign on the Palouse as the owner of several Pac-12 career passing records.
• Total Plays: 2,306 (previous record: 1,824 by Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002)
• Pass Completions: 1,404 (previous record: 1,187 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
• Pass Attempts: 2,055 (previous record: 1,838 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
• Touchdown Passes: 119 (previous record: 116 by Matt Barkley, USC, 2009-12)
• Total Offense: 14,086 (previous record: 13,033 by Marcus Mariota, ORE)
• Passing Yards: 14,485 (previous record: 13,600 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
LOVE-TATE RELATIONSHIP: STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love began the year by becoming the fastest Stanford running back to gain 1,000 rushing yards (fifth game in just 87 carries). His 1,088 yards through five games were the fourth-most by any player in FBS history. Meanwhile, ARIZONA sophomore QB Khalil Tate had an October to remember where in four games he rushed for 840 yards and 8 TDs, while completing 41-of-58 passes for 743 yards and 6 TDs. His 840 yards, including an FBS quarterback record 327 yards against Colorado, where the most by any FBS player the last 10 years. Love and Tate combined to produce 10 of the Pac-12’s top 25 single-game rushing totals during the 2017 season. Here are some of the incredible numbers posted by these two over the course of the 2017 season:
• Rushing yards/game - 162.9 ypg (No. 2 FBS)
• Stanford single-game rushing record: 301 yards vs. Arizona State (Sept. 30)
• Rushing back-to-back games: 564 yards (301 vs. ASU, 263 vs. UCLA). Third-best in Pac-12 history.
• Has rushed for 100+ yards in 14 of his last 15 games played.
• Seven rushes of 60+ yards this season: 62 vs. Rice, 75 at USC, 69 vs. UCLA, 61 vs. ASU, 68 at UTAH, 67 vs. ORE, 69 vs. TCU.
• His 13 runs of 50 or more yards this season set an FBS record. He had 12 100-yard rushing performances.
• 19 rushing TDs this year (T5th in the FBS), with an average distance of 41.4 yards per score. 12 of his 19 TDs have been from 43+ yards
• Fourth in the FBS in yards per attempt (8.05)
• Stanford single-season rushing record: 2,118 yards (broke Christian McCaffrey’s two-year old record of 2,019 yards) (2nd in Pac-12 history to USC’s Marcus Allen’s 2,427 yards set in 1981).
• Rushing yards/season - 1,411 yards (Pac-12 rushing record by a quarterback)
• Rushing yards/game - 128.3 ypg (No. 7 FBS)
• Single game FBS QB rushing record: 327 yards vs. Colorado (Oct. 7)
• Rushing back-to-back games: 557 yards (327 at COLO, 230 vs. UCLA). Fourth-best in Pac-12 history
• October rushing totals: 884 yards (most by a FBS player in a single month in more than a decade)
• Five rushes of 70+ yards: 75 at COLO, 71 vs. UCLA, 76 at CAL, 82 vs. WSU, 71 vs. OSU
• 10 of his 12 rushing TDs this season have covered 32 or more yards: 58, 28, 47, 75, 45, 71, 76, 49, 32, 19, 71 and 1 yard (47.7 avg)
• Led FBS in yards per rush attempt (9.22)
LOOKING AHEAD: Eleven All-Pac-12 first team selections and 12 second team selections are slated to return next season. In addition, here are the number of starters that Pac-12 teams expect to return in 2018.
|Offense||Defense||Special Teams (PK/P)|
AND YOU ARE???: Five new coaches will roam the sidelines next fall, the most changeover from one season to the next in conference history. New additions include Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin, Arizona State’s Herm Edwards, Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith, UCLA’s Chip Kelly.
PAC-12 TEAM-BY-TEAM RECAP:
ARIZONA: Kevin Sumlin was named head coach on January 14 ... The Wildcats have posted a single-season school record for rushing touchdowns with 48 (previous record was 36 in 2013) ... Sophomore QB Khalil Tate’s season rushing total is 1,411 yards, a Pac-12 record for a quarterback, and fourth all-time on Arizona’s single-season list ... Freshman RB JJ Taylor led all Pac-12 freshmen and was 11th overall in rushing with 847 yards (5.8 per carry) ... The Wildcats led the Pac-12 and was 12th in the nation in total offense (489.5 yards per game) ... Freshman LB Colin Schooler (95 tackles/7.3 per game) and Tony Fields II (104/8.0per game) have combined for 199 tackles this season, both are among the league’s top 11 in tackles per game. Freshman DE Kyle Wilborn led all Pac-12 freshmen in sacks with 7.5.
ARIZONA STATE: Herm Edwards was named head coach on December 3 ... Senior RB Demario Richard posted 648 yards rushing over the last five games on the way to posting 1,027 rushing yards, his second 1,000-yard season. Richard is fourth in Sun Devil history with 3,202 career rushing yards ... Sophomore All-Pac-12 WR N’Keal Harry led the Pac-12 with an even 1,142 receiving yards (87.8 yards per game) on 82 catches (tied for 3rd most in a season for the Sun Devils) ... Junior LB Christian Sam paced the Sun Devils with a Pac-12 leading 127 tackles (10.6 per game) ... Arizona State was 51-of-53 in the red zone this season (96.2 percent, 5th in the FBS). The lone exceptions were game-ending kneel downs to seal the victory over Washington and Arizona.
CALIFORNIA: Junior RB Patrick Laird reached 1,000 rushing yards (1,127 yards) for the season, becoming the 16th player in school history to reach the level. He capped off the season rushing for 545 yards over the final three games, averaging 181.7 yards per game ... Senior PK Matt Anderson kicked four field goals vs. UCLA in the final game of the season to break the Cal record with 60 field goals for his career. He entered the game tied atop the Golden Bear chart with Doug Brien, who had 56 field goals during his career from 1991-93. Anderson set the school career scoring record with 316 points ... Anderson was tabbed the Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year ... The Bears improved their rushing defense from 272.8 ypg in 2016 to 164.1 ypg in 2017.
COLORADO: Sophomore QB Steven Montez finished the year with 3,313 yards of total offense (2,975 passing, 338 rushing), the third 3,000-yard season in CU history (and just behind the record of 3,336 in 2014) ... Junior P Alex Kinney set the CU record for the most punts inside the 20 with 28. He finished the year with 56 punts for 2,451 yards for a career-best 43.8 average; over the last four games of the season, he averaged 49.3 for 16 punts ... Senior TB Phillip Lindsay set a CU season record with 301 rushing attempts on the way to 1,474 yards, the fourth best single-season mark in school history. His 5,926 yards of total offense rank seventh all-time in the Pac-12 annals.
OREGON: Mario Cristobal was named head coach on December 8 ... Senior RB Royce Freeman posted nine 100-yard rushing gamesin 2017, 31 for his career, a UO record. His Oregon career rushing record stands at 5,621 yards, seventh-most in NCAA history and second all-time in the Pac-12 (Pac-12 record: USC’s Charles White with 6,245 yards, 1976-79) ... Freeman has a UO-career record 64 TDs. He finished with 60 rushing TDs and is now owner of the Pac-12 career mark passing Oregon State’s Ken Simonton (59 TDs, 1998-2001) ... Senior PK Aidan Schneider hit a school record 51 field goals on 60 attempts (.850) and Pac-12 record 211 of 214 PAT (.986) during his career ... Sophomore LB Troy Dye posted a team-best 107 tackles (3rs most in the Pac-12), pushing his two-year total to 198 career tackles.
OREGON STATE: Jonathan Smith was named head coach on November 30. Smith threw for 9,680 yards and 55 TDs during his playing career at Oregon State (1998-2001). In 2000, he led the Beavers to 11-1 record and their last conference title, sharing the crown with Washington ... Senior LB Manase Hungalu led the Beavers with 97 tackles and was fifth in the Pac-12 with 8.1 tackles per game. His 20 tackles against California rank as the most by a conference player this season, and are tied for fourth-most ever by an Oregon State player, and tied for fifth-most nationally in 2017 ... Junior RB Ryan Nall finished his career with 2,216 rushing yards, ranking eighth on the school’s all-time list. He carried the ball 385 times for an average of 5.8 yards per carry, which ties him for the best average in school history. Rushed for 24 TDs, seventh in OSU history.
STANFORD: The Cardinal were ranked No. 20 in the AP and No. 19 in the USA Today/Coaches in the final polls of the season ... Has won at least eight games for a school-record nine straight years ... Junior RB Bryce Love finished second in the FBS with 162.9 rushing yards per game and is tied for fifth in the nation with 19 rushing TDs. Has rushed for 100 or more yards in 14 of his last 15 games, and over 150 yards in seven of 12 games he’s played this season. Love finished the 2017 campaign with 2,118 rushing yards, a Stanford single-season record and the second-best total in Pac-12 history ... Senior NT Harrison Phillips led the Cardinal with 100 tackles (7.1 avg) followed by junior SS Justin Reid with 99 tackles (7.1 avg) ... Reid also paced the Pac-12 with five interceptions ... Sophomore PK Jet Toner led the team with 117 points this season ... Junior P Jake Bailey led the Pac-12 and is eighth in the FBS with a 45.4 average. He’s placed 24 of his 57 punts inside the 20-yard line. He’s had 20 punts of 50+ yards this season ... Head coach David Shaw has 73 career wins, the most in Stanford history.
UCLA: Chip Kelly was named UCLA head coach on November 25. Kelly was 46-7 in four seasons at Oregon (2009-12) ... The Bruins finished the home schedule 6-0 this season, the first time it has won its first six contests at The Rose Bowl since 2013 ... Junior QB Josh Rosen had 17 300-yard passing games and 11 350-yard total offense games, both are the most in UCLA history ... Rosen is third in UCLA history in passing yards (9,300) and total offense (9,147), and second for completions (711) ... Junior WR Jordan Lasley posted a career-best 227 receiving yards vs. California in the season finale, combined with the 204 yards vs. USC the previous week, it is believed to be the second time a Pac-12 receiver has posted back-to-back 200+ yard receiving games (USC’s Nelson Agholor in 2014 with 220 yards vs. WSU and 216 vs. California). Lasley has 30 receptions for 559 receiving yards and 6 TDs the last three games of the season ... Senior LB Kenny Young was second in the Pac-12, averaging 9.2 tackles per game (110 total tackles).
USC: The Trojans were ranked No. 12 in the AP and No. 10 in the USA Today/Coaches in the final polls of the season ... Sophomore QB Sam Darnold was 20-4 as a starter, including a 12-0 mark at home ... Darnold threw for at least 200 yards in 23 games, with at least 3 TD passes in a game 10 times. After opening the season with 9 TDs/8 interceptions through the first five games, Darnold has tossed 17 TDs/5 interceptions over the last nine games ... Junior TB Ronald Jones II rushed for 1,550 yards (5.9 avg/carry) for the season. He is the first Trojan in a dozen years to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons (1,082 rushing yards in 2016). Jones rushed for 3,619 yards during his career, which ranks fifth on USC’s career rushing list. He also posted 39 rushing TDs in his USC career ... Junior ILB Cameron Smith paced the Trojans with 112 tackles (8.0 per game) ... USC averaged 484.1 yards of total offense (13th in the FBS), the team’s best offensive production since the 2005 team that played for the BCS title vs. Texas ... Head coach Clay Helton is USC’s first head coach to post 10-win seasons in his first two full seasons.
UTAH: Utah has a streak of 51 straight sellouts at Rice-Eccles Stadium ... Coach Kyle Whittingham is 11-1 in bowl games, Whittingham owns the best bowl win percentage (92%) in NCAA history ... Sophomore RB Zack Moss rushed for a career-best 196 yards (7.5 per carry) in the season finale vs. Colorado, then added 150 yards in the Heart of Dallas Bowl to push his season total to 1,173 yards. He’s Utah’s 14th 1,000-yard rusher ... Junior PK Matt Gay, the Lou Groza Award winner, was 30-of-34 on field goals for the season, including 5-of-6 from 50+ yards. His 30 field goals are a Pac-12 single-season record. His 2.31 field goals made per game led the FBS ... Junior P Mitch Wishnowsky was one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award.
WASHINGTON: The Huskies were ranked No. 16 in the AP and No. 15 in the USA Today/Coaches in the final polls of the season ... Junior QB Jake Browning owns the school career record with 78 TD passes, passing the previous school career mark of 75 held by Keith Price (2010-13) ... Junior RB Myles Gaskin has rushed for 1,000+yards in each of his three seasons and owns the UW career record for rushing touchdowns with 41 and career touchdowns with 45. His 4,055 career rushing yards rank second on UW’s all-time list, trailing Napoleon Kaufman (4,106 yards from 1991-94) ... Senior WR Dante Pettis was one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s most versatile player. Pettis has tied a Pac-12 single-season record with four punt returns for TDs this season and broke the NCAA record for career punt returns for TDs with nine. He also owns the Pac-12 mark with 1,274 career punt return yards ... Pettis, who is the team’s leading receiver with 63 receptions for 761 yards, has 163 career receptions (4th all-time at UW) for 2,256 yards (5th all-time at UW).
WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars finished the regular season with nine wins for the first time since 2003 ... Senior QB Luke Falk had 27 career wins as a starter, plus a WSU record 29 career 300-yard passing games, and 23 career 3-TD games ... He owns several Pac-12 passing records, including career passing yards (14,485) and career touchdown passes (119) ... Senior RB Jamal Morrow owns the WSU record for receptions by a running back with 202. His 4,219 all-purpose yards rank third in school history behind Steve Broussard (4,635) and Ruben Mayes (4,418) ... The Cougars led the Pac-12 in passing defense (170.9 yards) for the first time since 1997 ... Junior DT Hercules Mata’afa led the Pac-12 with 22.5 TFL and 10.5 sacks this season ... Senior PK Erik Powell closed out his career with 51 field goals, 317 points, both numbers rank third all-time on the school charts.
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