Pac-12 Football Year in Review
The Pac-12 Champion OREGON Ducks cap a 12-2 season with Rose Bowl Game victory as the Pac-12 goes 4-3 in the postseason. The Ducks finish the season ranked No. 5, while UTAH comes in at No. 16 in the final polls.
Thirteen Pac-12 players garnered All-America honors for their on-field performance. Oregon sophomore offensive tackle Penei Sewell and CALIFORNIA senior linebacker Evan Weaver were consensus All-America selections, while UTAH defensive end Bradlee Anae was a unanimous selection. Sewell was honored with the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman, while Weaver led the FBS in tackles with 182 (14.0 per game).
Combining both on-field and off-field performances, Oregon senior quarterback Justin Herbert was recipient of the Campbell Trophy, honoring the college football’s top scholar-athlete. Herbert, who carried a 4.01 gpa, was also named first team Academic All-America for the second straight year and repeated as the Academic Team Member of the Year. He earned his degree in general science with an emphasis in biology, while completing a school record 827 passes for 10,541 yards and 95 touchdowns during his career. Joining Herbert on the Academic All-America team was WASHINGTON STATE senior wide receiver Brandon Arconado. Arconado, who carries a 3.65 gpa, owns a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and is working towards his master’s degree in business administration. On the field, Arconado had 78 receptions for 1,109 yards (Pac-12 leading 100.8 ypg) and seven touchdowns.
Going out on top... WASHINGTON STATE senior quarterback Anthony Gordon set Pac-12 single-season records for completions (493), passing yardage (5,579), most yards gained (5,579) and touchdowns (48). For good measure, Gordon also set the Pac-12 single-game record with nine touchdown passes (vs. UCLA).
Freshmen phenoms... USC freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis set an FBS record for completion percentage by a freshman as he connected on 282-of-392 pass attempts for 71.9 percent, 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. ARIZONA STATE freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels completed 205-of-308 pass attempts for 66.5 percent, 2,943 yards and 17 touchdowns. In the process, Daniels threw just two interceptions to set a Pac-12 record for lowest percentage of passes had intercepted with fewer than 350 attempts (0.59), and rushed for 355 yards ... Six Pac-12 freshmen, which was more than any other conference, were named to the Football Writer’s Association of America Freshman All-America Team - USC’s Slovis, UCLA OL Sean Rhyan and PR Kyle Phillips, OREGON DL Kayvon Thibodeaux and DB Verone McKinley III, and OREGON STATE LB Omar Speights.
UTAH senior quarterback Tyler Huntley established a Pac-12 single-season record for completion percentage as he completed 220-of-301 for 73.1 percent, while senior running back Zack Moss set a school career record with 4,067 rushing yards and 38 rushing touchdowns. The duo carried the Utes to back-to-back Pac-12 South Division crowns.
PAC-12 FOOTBALL NOTES:
DUCKS GRAB OUTLAND AND CAMPBELL: OREGON sophomore OL Penei Sewell was named the winner of the Outland Trophy which honors the top interior lineman, while senior QB Justin Herbert was recipient of the Campbell Trophy. The Campbell Trophy, also known as the Academic Heisman, recognizes the top college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance.
WHITTINGHAM LANDS DODD TROPHY: UTAH’s Kyle Whittingham earned national coach of the year honors as recipient of the Dodd Trophy. It’s the third time in the last four years that a Pac-12 coach was named the winner of the national coach of the year honor that exemplifies scholarship, leadership and integrity. Whittingham joins former winners STANFORD’s David Shaw (2017), COLORADO’s Mike MacIntyre (2016) and WASHINGTON STATE’s Mike Price (1997).
NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION HONORS: OREGON senior QB Justin Herbert and STANFORD senior LB Casey Toohill were named to the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class. Former Pac-12 student-athletes Jake Plummer (Arizona State, 1993-96) and Troy Polamalu (USC, 1999-2002) and coach Dennis Erickson (Washington State,1987-88; Oregon State, 1999-2002, Arizona State, 2007-11) were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Former UCLA QB Mark Harmon was presented the NFF Gold Medal, the organizations highest and most prestigious award.
THE CFP RANKINGS: OREGON moves up to No. 6, UTAH drops to No. 11 and USC stays at No. 22 in the final CFP rankings ... Oregon becomes the ninth Pac-12 team to finish in the final CFP Top 10 over the last six years ... Utah leads the Pac-12 and ranks sixth nationally in weeks ranked in the College Football Playoff Poll, with 30 weeks, trailing only Alabama (37), Clemson (37), Ohio State (37), Oklahoma (35) and LSU (33).
YOU COMPLETE ME: Four Pac-12 QBs were among the 13 FBS quarterbacks who completed at two-thirds of their pass attempts this season (minimum 15 passes per game/played in 75.0% of team’s games). That’s more than any other conference.
2. Tyler Huntley, Sr., UTAH .731 (220-of-301, 3,092 yards, 19 TD, 4 INT)
3. Kedon Slovis, Fr., USC .719 (282-of-392, 3,502 yards, 30 TDs, 9 INT)
4. Anthony Gordon, Sr., WSU .716 (493-of-689, 5,579 yards, 48 TDs, 16 INT)
13. Justin Herbert, Sr., ORE .668 (286-of-428, 3,471 yards, 32 TDs, 6 INT)
Of note, Huntley set the Pac-12 single-season completion percentage record, passing the mark of .713 set by Stanford’s Andrew Luck in 2011 (288-4of-04). Slovis set the Pac-12 single-season completion mark by a freshman, besting the .685 set by Oregon’s Marcus Mariotta in 2012 (230-of-336).
HAVE BALL, WILL CARRY: Five Pac-12 running backs have rushed for 1,000 yards this season with three hitting that mark in their regular season finale and one in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. UTAH’s Zack Moss led the Pac-12 (1,416 yards), followed by OREGON’s CJ Verdell (1,220), ARIZONA STATE’s Eno Benjamin (1,083), UCLA’s Joshua Kelley (1,060) and WASHINGTON’s Salvon Ahmed (1,020). The Pac-12 has produced five or more 1,000-yard rushers in each of the last six seasons.
THROW ME THE BALL: Like the Pac-12 running backs, there were five Pac-12 receivers who piled up 1,000 or more receiving yards - USC’s Michael Pittman (1,275 yards), ARIZONA STATE’s Brandon Aiyuk (1,192), OREGON STATE’s Isaiah Hodgins (1,171), WASHINGTON STATE’s Brandon Arconado (1,109) and USC’s Amon St. Brown (1,042).