@ASUFootball’s Merlin Robertson and Michael Turk Earn Pac-12 Player of the Week Honors
TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Football junior linebacker Merlin Robertson (Defensive Player of the Week) and redshirt junior punter Michael Turk (Special Teams Player of the Week) both earned Pac-12 Player of the Week recognition for their performances in ASU's near upset of No. 20 USC on Saturday in the 2020 season opener for both teams.
Robertson finished second on the team with 10 tackles, including one tackle for loss, to go along with his third career interception and a fumble recovery. Robertson helped lead a defensive effort that forced four USC turnovers (three fumbles and one interception) and also made the Trojans give up the ball on downs on two other occasions.
With ASU up 17-14 late in the second quarter, Robertson kept USC from a potential tying or go-ahead score in the final minutes of the half when he made a diving interception off the arm of USC quarterback Kedon Slovis at the ASU 10-yard line. Late in the third quarter, Robertson once again kept USC from scoring when he tackled Trojan RB Stephen Carr for a one-yard loss on 4th & 1 at the ASU 6. Robertson would also collect a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter after teammate Evan Fields, who led ASU with 17 tackles, forced his second fumble of the game.
A semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award after finishing 11th in the nation in punting average last year, Turk picked right where he left off the 2019 campaign, averaging 51.8 yards on five punts, including a game-high 58-yard punt in the first quarter. Turk dropped three of his five punts inside the USC 15-yard line, including one at the three-yard line.
In 2019, Turk pinned 32 of his 59 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line (54.2 percent), a total that was second in the nation. Turk also had 21 punts of 50 or more yards, six more than any other player in the Pac-12.
This is the second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor for both Robertson (vs. Utah in 2018) and Turk (vs. Kent State in 2019).
New this season, all weekly Pac-12 football awards will be presented by Nextiva, the Pac-12's Official Communications Partner. At the conclusion of the season, Nextiva will also present Pac-12 annual performance awards, including Offensive Player of the Year, Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, Freshman Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
The Sun Devils return to action on Saturday (8:30 p.m. MT) when they take on Cal in their 2020 home opener. The game can be seen on ESPN2 and heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.