Latu, Rising Lauded with Pac-12 Weekly Awards
SAN FRANCISCO – University of Utah freshman safety Kamo'i Latu and sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising have been named recipients of Pac-12 weekly honors, as Latu was named Freshman of the Week and Rising the league's Offensive Player of the Week. The duo had remarkable performances leading the Utes past USC in a 42-26 win on Saturday, the first Utah victory over the Trojans in Los Angeles since 1916.
Making his first career start at safety, Latu produced a career- and team-best 10 tackles, to go with a pass breakup. Seven of Latu's tackles came in the first half, including five in the first quarter of the game. It's the second straight game that Latu recorded a breakup. In addition, it was Utah's second straight game with double-digit tackles from a freshman, following Karene Reid's 15-tackle effort vs. Washington State on Sept. 25.
Rising was 22-of-28 passing for 306 yards (13.9 yards per completion) and three touchdowns, plus a rushing score. His completions, passing yards and total touchdowns were all career-highs and marked the first 300-yard passing performance at Utah since 2019. Playing in his home state of California, Rising led four scoring drives of 75-plus yards, the most all week by a Pac-12 team. After a three-and-out on Utah's first series of the game, he marched the Utes downfield for touchdowns on five of the team's next six possessions. Seven of Rising's 22 total completions went for 15 or more yards, totaling 192 passing yards.
Earlier on Monday, Rising was additionally named to the Davey O'Brien Award's weekly "Great 8". That honor also places Rising on the award's midseason watch list, and makes him eligible to be voted as a semifinalist, finalist or the winner of the 2021 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.
Utah returns to Rice-Eccles Stadium this Saturday night, Oct. 16, as the Utes host No. 18 Arizona State for an 8 p.m. MT kick on ESPN.