Home Blog Page 3

Oregon Faces Wisconsin In Rose Bowl 2020

Oregon State Beavers vs Oregon Ducks battle in the Civil War football game on November 30, 2019 (Photo by Megan Connelly)

PASADENA, CA- Bowl Season is truly a wondrous time of year; the 2020 Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutualpromises to be perhaps the most exciting and intriguing matchupas the NO. 6 Oregon Ducks face the NO. 8 Wisconsin Badgers. “The Granddaddy Of Them All” boasts two of the nation’s brightest stars with Oregon’s Quarterback Justin Herbert and Wisconsin’s Running Back Jonathan Taylor.

This year’s edition remains traditional fare, one school from the PAC-12, one school from the BIG 10.

Autzen Stadium (Photo by Ben Ludeman)

A new decade kicks off with a battle of Oregon’s dynamic offense pitted against Wisconsin’s staunch defense. In a rematch of the 2012 Rose Bowl, where the Ducks won a thriller, 45-38. Both programs had to fight tooth and nail down the stretch of the season for the honor ofclinching the beautiful rose in their teeth.

Oregon has risen to national prominence once again under second year head coach Mario Cristobal. At a mark of 11-2, the Ducks won the PAC-12 Conference title, obliterating the Utah Utes, 37-15 behind the legs of running back CJ Verdell, who torched the Utes defense for a whopping 208 yards and three touchdowns. Oregon not only punched their ticket to Pasadena in the lopsided victory, the Ducks also squashed Utah’s hopes and dreams of playing in the College Football Playoff in the process.

It will be the final chance to watch QB Justin Herbert before he enters the NFL. A Senior with long scraggly hair, Herbert threw for 3,333 yards, 33 TDs and only 5 interceptions. Easy to see why he is projected to be selected in the top five of the 2020 NFL Draft.

As for the Badgers, their grit combinedwith a dash of help from the Playoff Selection Committee ensured their spot in the New Year’s Day festivities. At 10-3, Wisconsin is led by one of the best running backs in the history of college football in one Jonathan Taylor.The Badgers running back sits at 1,909 rushing yards on the season, a mere twenty-nine yards behind Oklahoma States Chuba Hubbard for most in the nation. Taylor recently walked away with his second consecutive Doak Taylor award, given to the nation’s premier running back.

Art at the Rose Bowl game, Pasadena, CA. on January 1, 2016. (Photo by Jevone Moore )

Taylor became just the sixth player in FBS history to rush for 6,000 yards in their heartbreaking 34-21 loss to NO. 2 Ohio State in the BIG 10 Championship game. Wisconsin seemed poised for the monumental upset, jumping out to a 21-7 lead in the first half. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes woke up and scored 27 unanswered points to secure the BIG 10 Title, as well as a spot in the heralded College Football Playoff.

The Committee had a tough choice on their hands: Penn St. or Wisconsin? Wisconsin was ranked two spots ahead of the tenth ranked Nittany Lions. In addition, their performance in the BIG 10 Title earned them a spot in “”The Granddaddy of Them All”.

We are living in an era where Bowl games luster and shine are quickly fading away, a time in which Collegiate stars would prefer to train for the NFL Combine rather than play in a perceived meaningless game risking injury. Thankfully, the Rose Bowls aura and significance remains intact. The 2020 Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual will air on ESPN. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.

Washington Huskies give coach Petersen a last win

Washington coaches share the victory after the Las Vegas Bowl 2019 Boise State Broncos vs Washington Huskies on Sat December 21, 2019. (Photo by Jerry Kelly)

Las Vegas, NV – The storybook ending to a great career finished Saturday night in the city that never sleeps, Washington Huskies defeated Boise State 38-7 in coach Chris Petersen last game.

Jacob Eason standing tall in the pocket during the Las Vegas Bowl 2019 Boise State Broncos vs Washington Huskies on Sat December 21, 2019. (Photo by Jerry Kelly)

A few weeks back Washington coach Petersen announced that he would step down from leading his Huskies.  Current defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will take over now to lead the Huskies into the future.

 “I never wanted to win a  game this bad”, said coach Lake “I want to see Coach Petersen be carried off the field.”

Washington defense set the tone by starting off blitzing in the first half keeping Boise State on its toes.

Las Vegas Bowl 2019 Boise State Broncos vs Washington Huskies on Sat December 21, 2019. (Photo by Jerry Kelly)

After stopping Boise State on its opening drive, it was the offense turn to take over and soar. Behind strong arm of Jacob Eason, they marched down the field in 12 plays for 52 yards eating up 6:07 minutes off the clock on touchdown ending drive.      

Washington quarterback Jacob Eason finished the game throwing for 210 yards 22/32 with a touchdown. Now the question is will he forgo his senior season for the NFL or stay and play a year with Lake.

Boise State playing multiple quarterbacks from traditional drop back to a Pistol formation with a dual threat quarterback. None of it seam to work, the Huskies kept them off the score board.

Jaylon Henderson in the pocket during the Las Vegas Bowl 2019 Boise State Broncos vs Washington Huskies on Sat December 21, 2019. (Photo by Jerry Kelly)

Coming back from halftime with 17-0 lead, Washington defense came up big with a Elijah Molden interception. He read the screen and undercut the route to stop Boise in their tracks in 3rd quarter.

Then three plays later Washington punched it in for a touchdown for 24-0 lead. That seemed to be the knockout blow, with Boise State not being able to respond all night.

The turnover battle hurt Boise State giving up two turnover for 14 points before the third quarter was done.

Boise State used a bunch formation with Jaylon Henderson in shotgun to break the shutout and get on the board to avoid a shutout to trail by three scores 24-7 in third quarter.

Running back Richard Newton grinding out yards during the Las Vegas Bowl 2019 Boise State Broncos vs Washington Huskies on Sat December 21, 2019. (Photo by Jerry Kelly)

 The Vegas Bowl was a great ending for coach Petersen to ride off into the night down the Vegas strip.

 “Awesome for the program, seniors, and Jimmy (Lake)”, said Petersen, “It’s been a great ride.”

Las Vegas Bowl 2019 Boise State Broncos vs Washington Huskies on Sat December 21, 2019. (Photo by Jerry Kelly)

Kent State defeats Utah State in Frisco Bowl

The Utah State Aggies take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas. Dec. 20, 2019. Photo by Evan Luecke

Frisco, TX – In the third ever Frisco Bowl, the Kent State Golden Flashes (7-6) defeated the Utah State Aggies (7-6) 51-41. Kent State extended their winning streak to four after winning their last three regular season games to become bowl eligible.

The Utah State Aggies take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas. Dec. 20, 2019. Photo by Evan Luecke

“There’s been some narratives about MAC football but we have played two games we are 2-0,” coach Sean Lewis on Friday nights bowl win.

This is the 8th time making a bowl game in the past 9 seasons for Utah State and they are now 4-4 in those games.

After surrendering 51 points to Kent State, Utah States head coach Gary Andersen described his teams defensive performance as “not good.”

The Utah State Aggies take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas. Dec. 20, 2019. Photo by Evan Luecke

Heading into the 2019 season, there was a lot of hype around red-shirt Junior Jordan Love and the Aggies. The Aggies were expected to make a run at a conference championship and Love was supposed to build off a sophomore season that saw him throw 28 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Instead, they went 7-6 after losing in the Frisco Bowl and Love saw his production dip.

Love is headed to the NFL and coach Andersen said his legacy will live on forever. Love finished his college career by completing 29 of 38 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.

“Jordan Love is the best quarterback I have ever played with.” Sophomore receiver Deven Thompkins said when asked what it was like to play with Love. He mentioned that Love was his host when he went to Utah State on his recruiting visit and the bond was created immediately.

The Aggies jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on their first offensive possession with a 10 play, 75 yard drive that took just 2:58.

The Utah State Aggies take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas. Dec. 20, 2019. Photo by Evan Luecke

The Golden Flashes responded by scoring the next 17 points and took a 23-17 lead into the half led by quarterback Dustin Crum. Crum had a big night completing 21 of 26 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 149 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. That performance was good enough to take home the Frisco Bowl offensive MVP.

With 12:48 left in the 4th and Utah State down 34-27, Thompkins scored his second touchdown of the night on a 57 yard rush to tie the game at 34.

This game was won for the Golden Flash in the turnover department. They were able to get three takeaways, including a huge fumble recovery with 9:09 left in the 4th quarter.The Golden Flash would kick a field goal to make the score 44-34 with 6:08 left in the 4th.

Utah State scored a touchdown with 3:24 left in the 4th to cut the lead to three, 44-41 but would give up a 46 yard kickoff return. Crum scored the game clinching touchdown on 4th and 1 with 1:59 left.

The Utah State Aggies take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas. Dec. 20, 2019. Photo by Evan Luecke

After being outscored 25-14 in the 4th quarter, Thompkins was asked what decided tonight’s game, “they finished and we didn’t. We pride ourselves on finishing and tonight we didn’t do that.” That is something coach Andersen said will be the focus in 2020. 

Kent State sophomore receiver Isaiah McKoy was the Golden Flashes leading receiver coming into tonight and he caught six passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.   This was Kent State fourth ever bowl appearance and first win in a bowl game in the schools history and they will look to build on the strong finish to the season in 2020.

The Utah State Aggies take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco Texas. Dec. 20, 2019. Photo by Evan Luecke

Matt Leinart Leads 2019 Rose Bowl Hall Of Fame Inductees

January 1, 2018 Pasadena CA, Rose Bowl stadium full for the NCAA College Football at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. on January 1, 2018. Jevone Moore

PASADENA, CA- The 2019 Rose Bowl Hall Of Fame Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, December 31st at the Lot K Tent  outside the Rose Bowl from 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.The class of 2019 inductees are Harvard’s Eddie Casey, Ohio State Quarterback Cornelius Greene, Washington Huskies Running Back Jacque Robinson and legendary USC Trojan Quarterback Matt Leinart.

The family friendly event will have excited future gridiron stars; kids will be running around tossing the mini Rose Bowl footballs outside the iconic venue dreaming of one day playing in the “Granddaddy of Them All”. In-N-Out Burger will be serving their juicy, world famous burgers. This HOF bash has the feel of an upscale tailgate party, a wonderful precursor to the 106th Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutualon January 1st. When the NO. 6 Oregon Ducks battle the NO. 8 Wisconsin Badgers.

Eddie Casey was a diminutive Tailback and Defensive Back from Harvard. After nobly serving in World War I, he returned to the Crimson in 1919, leading them to a 9-0-1 record. His bursting speed combined with his agility paved the way for a 7-6 victory over the University of Oregon. His 205 all purpose yards earned him MVP honors. More importantly, the win introduced the Tournament of Roses to the New England States.

Corneilius Greene is one of the lucky few to appear in four Rose Bowls. The OSU Quarterback played from 1973-1976, receiving MVP honors for his performance in the 1974 Rose Bowl. The Buckeye QB defeated the USC Trojans, 42-21. Greene threw for 129 yards, running for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Jacque Robinson was the freshman to hoist the MVP award for his outstanding performance in the 1982 Rose Bowl. Crushing the University of Iowa 28-0 behind Robinsons 142 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Robinson was just getting started-earning MVP honors in the 1985 Orange Bowl. Robinson became one of only four players to ever win MVP in both the Orange and Rose Bowls.

Finally, USC legendary Quarterback Matt Leinart will clearly get the most raucous reception when his name is called. The Heisman Trophy winner orchestrated one of the greatest dynasties in the history of college football. Appearing in two Rose Bowls, first in 2004, where the Trojans knocked off the Michigan Wolverines. Leinart was named MVP behind his three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.

His next Rose Bowl was the 2006 BCS National Championship against the University of Texas, considered by many to be the greatest game in the history of college football period. Although Leinart completed 73 percent of his passes, fellow Rose Bowl HOF inductee Texas QB Vince Young ripped the heart out of die hard Trojans fans running into the end zone in the final minute EN route to a 41-38 victory and the National Championship. Leinart was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall Of Fame in 2007, as well as having his #11 Jersey retired.

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to honor members of the Rose Bowl Game family who have contributed to the history and excitement of the Rose Bowl Game and those who embody the best of the passion, strength, tradition, and honor associated with The Granddaddy of Them All.

In its storied 31 year history, 133 luminaries have been inducted. The honorees will receive a blazer, a permanent plaque at the Court of Championship at the Rose Bowl, appear at the Rose Parade and are recognized on the field during the Rose Bowl.

Tickets are $40.00. For more information, visit:www.tournamentofroses.com

Oregon’s Sewell wins 2019 Outland Trophy

Photo by Megan Connelly

Dec. 12, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson

NFID presents award to top college interior lineman    

ATLANTA (FWAA) – Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell was named the recipient of the 74th Outland Trophy on Thursday night during The Home Depot College Football Awards from the College Football Hall of Fame.

The 2019 Outland Trophy, presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), is awarded annually to the nation’s best college interior lineman on offense or defense. NFID is presenting the trophy to help increase awareness about the importance of influenza (flu) prevention. Getting vaccinated each year is your best first line of defense against flu.

Sewell is the first Outland Trophy winner from Oregon and the third consecutive sophomore to receive the prestigious award. Sewell is just the eighth winner from a Pac-12 school and the third since 2000. He was selected by the All-America Committee of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) from three finalists, including Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown and Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz. The Ducks had two previous finalists in Jake Fisher (OT, 2014) and Haloti Ngata (DT, 2005).

The official presentation to the winner will be made at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Outland Trophy Award Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises on Jan. 15, 2020 in Omaha, Neb.

The 6-6, 325-pound true sophomore originally from Malaeimi, American Samoa and then Desert Hills High School in St. George, Utah, showed his dominance at left tackle early in the season. He was the Outland Trophy Offensive Player of the Month for September as the Ducks became the Pac-12’s third-leading offense (26th nationally) behind quarterback Justin Herbert. In 466 pass-blocking snaps this season, Sewell allowed just seven quarterback pressures and no sacks. He had eight games without allowing a pressure, hit and hurry on the quarterback.

Photo by Megan Connelly

Sewell is the top-graded offensive lineman at any position by Pro Football Focus, which gave him a national-best 95.5 run-blocking grade and a 92.2 in pass-blocking, second nationally. The Pac-12 named him its Offensive Lineman of the Week award four times.

Oregon (11-2) is 16-3 over the last two seasons with Sewell in the starting lineup and heads to its fourth Rose Bowl appearance since 2010 and eighth overall on Jan. 1, 2020, where it will take on Wisconsin.

Former University of Pittsburgh tackle Mark May, the 1980 Outland Trophy winner, has served as the 2019 Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador on behalf of NFID. May is making media appearances on behalf of the NFID #FightFlu public awareness campaign to remind everyone age six months and older to get vaccinated annually against flu.

The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.

The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Founded in 1973, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. Visit nfid.org for more information.

About the Football Writers Association of America
Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit footballwriters.com for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.

Doncic Passes Jordan, Mavs Fall Short to Kings

Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavs NBA basketball game on Sunday December 8, 2019. (Photo by Ari Talton)

Dallas, TX – While Luka Doncic surpassed Michael Jordan in a unique category of NBA history, most of Sunday night’s matchup between Sacramento and Dallas involved Dallas playing catch-up. Sacramento survived a late-game surge by the Mavericks to win 110-106.

Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavs NBA basketball game on Sunday December 8, 2019. (Photo by Ari Talton)

Doncic totaled 27 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists Sunday night – his 19th consecutive game with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Doncic now owns the record over both Jordan and then Russell Westbrook.

From the onset of the game, Sacramento was not afraid to shoot. Led in the first half by Buddy Hield’s consistent shooting, the Kings got off to a double-digit lead in the first quarter. Hield scored 26 points and was a consistent threat from the three-point line. Nemanja Bjelica was perhaps the biggest scoring factor Sunday night. He finished with 30 points in his 34 minutes on the court.

Much of the first half involved Sacramento recovering the loose balls, getting open on the perimeter and scoring in the paint. Former Dallas player Harrison Barnes spent the most time on the floor for Sacramento, scoring and facilitating the offense for his team. Barnes finished the night with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavs NBA basketball game on Sunday December 8, 2019. (Photo by Ari Talton)

On the other side, Tim Hardaway Jr. was having a career day. He led the Mavericks with 29 points, connecting on nine of his 12 three-point attempts.

The fourth quarter got very interesting, as the Mavericks finally erased a 24-point deficit. Kristaps Porzingis connected on a smooth fade away to narrow the margin to two points. Dallas could never tie or take the lead. On a last attempt Doncic drove toward the basket, attempting a floater in the lane. He came up short and Sacramento recovered the ball, ultimately winning the game.

Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavs NBA basketball game on Sunday December 8, 2019. (Photo by Ari Talton)

After playing four games in six nights, Dallas is now 16 – 7. Sacramento improves to 9-13.

Oregon Heads to The Rose Bowl After Winning The 2019 Pac-12 Championship

PAC-12 Championship game between Utah Utes vs Oregon Ducks at Levi's Stadium on Friday December 6, 2019. (Photo by Megan Connelly

SANTA CLARA, CA – No. 13 Oregon upset No. 5 Utah 37-15 in the Pac-12 Championship Friday Night, ending the Utes chances of slipping into the 2019 College Football Playoff, and securing their place in the 2020 Rose Bowl. The Ducks will bring a conference championship trophy back to Eugene for the first time since Marcus Mariota led the Ducks to a National Championship appearance in 2014.

PAC-12 Championship game between Utah Utes vs Oregon Ducks at Levi’s Stadium on Friday December 6, 2019. (Photo by Megan Connelly

The physical rebrand Mario Cristobal set out to create since taking over as head coach, which he’s often referred to “Oregon Football 2.0”, was in full effect tonight. When asked what the key was to running the ball so well against a strong Utah rush defense Cristobal stated “Quite frankly I think maybe these guys just all week long got a little bit tired of hearing that we weren’t the more physical team”.

CJ Verdell was named the Pac-12 Championship Game MVPafter a monstrous night on the ground, finishing the with 18 carries for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns. Justin Herbert, who hasn’t been involved in the run game much this season, ran 7 times himself for 20 yards. Cristobal stated after the game “We haven’t run him much this year, but there’s a reason he’s been upright all year… tonight, the way that they play… Justin was going to have to use his feet to make some plays. He was outstanding”.

Although he didn’t have the biggest night on the stat sheet, Justin Herbert delivered big plays when Oregon needed them. Herbert set the Ducks up for a field goal in the first quarter after he connected with wide receiver Juwan Johnson on a 50-yard pass to the Utah 1-yard line, and again after Johnny Johnson III reeled in a miraculous 33-yard reception down to the Utah 9. Offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo was able to attack Utah deep after the Utes lost safety RJ Hubert and All-Pac 12 safety Julian Blackmon to “significant” injuries. Herbert’s only touchdown of the night came on a 45-yard touchdown reception by Johnson III in the 2nd quarter.

PAC-12 Championship game between Utah Utes vs Oregon Ducks at Levi’s Stadium on Friday December 6, 2019. (Photo by Megan Connelly

Andy Avalos’s defense was also outstanding, holding Utah to zero red zone scoring chances, and stopping them on all four of their 4th down attempts.

Utah eventually scored for the first time in the third quarter as Tyler Huntley hit Zack Moss for a 24-yard touchdown pass, and quickly made it a one score game at 23-15 after Huntley found Samson Nacua for both a 25-yard Touchdown and a successful 2-point conversion. CJ Verdell put an end to the potential comeback after breaking off a 70-yard TD run, the longest run in Pac 12 Championship history, and added one more with a 31-yard clip after senior linebacker Troy Dye picked off Tyler Huntley.

PAC-12 Championship game between Utah Utes vs Oregon Ducks at Levi’s Stadium on Friday December 6, 2019. (Photo by Megan Connelly

Laviska Shenault Jr. To Declare For 2020 NFL Draft

USC vs Colorado football on Friday October 25, 2019 at Boulder, CU. (Photo by Laura Domingue)

BOULDER—University of Colorado junior wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has announced that he will forego his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2020 National Football League Draft.

Laviska Shenault Jr. with the catch and run during the Arizona State vs Colorado in Boulder, CU on October 6, 2018. (Photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

Shenault announced his decision on his Twitter page at 1 p.m.  

A top NFL prospect after a breakout sophomore season in 2018, Shenault cemented those rankings as a junior, putting his superior speed and strength to the test despite being hampered with injuries and becoming the focal point for all defenses the Buffs faced in 2019. 

“Laviska Shenault represented our relentless culture and was one of the most dynamic, dominant and versatile players that I have ever coached,” CU coach Mel Tucker said. “He embodies the true ‘show me, don’t tell me’ competitive spirit.  I look forward to watching him develop and compete at the elite level and thank him for his contributions on and off the field.  Once a Buff, always a Buff.” 

One of the most dynamic players in the nation over the past two seasons, he lined up, caught passes and ran the ball from a multitude of positions including outside receiver, slot receiver, h-back, tailback, and tight end, as well as running the ball out of the wildcat position. 

Laviska Shenault with a catch during Colorado Buffaloes PAC-12 football game at Folsom Field on November 17, 2018. (Photo by Laura Domingue / fi360 News)

“First and foremost, I want to thank all of my friends, family and all those who helped me get where I am today,” Shenault said. ”I took in a lot of wisdom and knowledge from all of you and used it to make me a better man on and off the field.  I’m blessed to be in the position I am today and I know my dad would be proud of the foundation I left as I pursue my dream of playing at the next level and declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft.” 

Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 14

(Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 14

OFFENSE: Brant Kuithe, So., TE, Utah (Katy, Texas)
• Finished Utah’s game against Colorado with 122 all-purpose yards and three TDs, propelling them to their second straight Pac-12 South Title and Pac-12 Championship game appearance.
• Kuithe had three catches for 63 yards with 38-yard and 7-yard receiving TDs, adding two rushes for 59 yards that included a career-long 44-yard rush along with a 15-yard rushing TD. 
• Accounted for two first downs in Utah’s first scoring drive, converting on a 3-and-13 on an 18-yard reception to extend the drive, finishing it off with his 38-yard touchdown reception to tie the game 7-7 in the second quarter.
• On Utah’s next scoring drive, Kuithe accounted for 51 of the 84 yards in the drive, including a career-long 44-yard rush and his seven-yard rushing TD to give Utah a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter. 
• Kuithe finished the game with a 15-yard rushing TD in the fourth quarter for the last points of the game, giving the Utes their 45-15 win and the Pac-12 South Title.

Also nominated: Eno Benjamin, RB, ASU; Christopher Brown Jr., RB, CAL

Jack Jones defending at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., on Friday, September 27, 2019. (Aaron Nelson / fi360 News)

DEFENSE: Jack Jones, R-Jr., CB, Arizona State (Long Beach, Calif.)
• Jones had six combined tackles (five solos) and two interceptions in ASU’s 24-14 Territorial Cup win over Arizona on Saturday.
• Jones became the first Sun Devil with multiple interceptions in a game since Gump Hayes picked off Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) twice in 2016.
• Thwarted Arizona scoring threat in the second quarter, with an interception at the ASU 14 after the Wildcats had driven to the ASU 24. ASU would end up converting the turnover into a field goal just before the half to cut UA’s lead to 7-6.
• Also intercepted a pass on Arizona’s first possession of the second half.

Also nominated: Cameron Goode, OLB, CAL; Thomas Graham Jr., CB, ORE; Devin Lloyd, LB, UTAH; Elijah Molden, DB, WASH

SPECIAL TEAMS: Mykael Wright, Fr., KR/CB, Oregon (Antelope Valley, Calif.)
• Returned a kickoff 98 yards for a TD in the first quarter during Oregon’s 24-10 win over Oregon State in the 123rd Civil War.
• Return came with the game tied 3-3 and gave Oregon a lead it would keep for good. Finished with two kickoff returns for 121 yards.
• Just the third player in program history with two kickoff returns in a season, joining De’Anthony Thomas (2011) and Jonathan Stewart (2005)
• Also equaled a season high with five tackles and had a pass breakup.
• Finished as the fifth-highest graded corner in the Pac-12 for week 14 by Pro Football Focus with a 77.9 coverage grade over 41 snaps.

Also nominated: Cristian Zendejas, PK, ASU; Demari Simpkins, RS/WR, UTAH

OFFENSIVE LINE: Penei Sewell, So., OL, Oregon (Malaeimi, American Samoa)
• Didn’t allow a pressure, hurry or hit on the QB for the eighth time this season during Oregon’s 24-10 win over Oregon State in the 123rd Civil War 
• Finished with the conference’s third-best pass-blocking grade (88.1) in week 14 according to Pro Football Focus.
• Played all 67 snaps at left tackle, as Oregon improved to 15-3 with him in the starting lineup.
• Earned a 95 percent assignment grade from the Oregon coaches. Finished with two knockdowns to bring his season total to 54.
• Oregon rushed for 119 of its 191 yards behind the middle to left side of the offensive line as 32 of 33 carries by Oregon running backs went for positive yards.

Also nominated: Cohl Cabral, C, ASU; Jake Curhan, RT, CAL.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Joe Tryon, So., DL, Washington (Renton, Wash.)
• Led the UW defensive effort that limited Washington State to just one touchdown, 13 points and 339 yards of total offense in Washington’s 31-13 win over the Cougars in the Apple Cup. 
• Tryon finished the game with four total tackles, including two-and-a-half for loss and two sacks, good for 19 yards in losses. 
• Over the last four games of the season, Tryon has compiled 10 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Also nominated: Jermaine Lole, DL, ASU; Brett Johnson, NG, CAL; Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, ORE; Bradlee Anae, DE, UTAH

FRESHMAN: Trent McDuffie, Fr., DB, Washington (Westminster, Calif.)
• McDuffie, who started his 10th game as a true freshman DB in the Huskies’ 31-13 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup, had what may have been the key play in the game — if not two of them. 
• In the fourth quarter, with the UW up 28-13 and WSU all the way down to the Husky nine-yard line, McDuffie forced a fumble (recovered by UW) to end the threat. After the Huskies punted, the Cougars moved across midfield on the next drive as well, before McDuffie intercepted QB Anthony Gordon at the UW 31 and returned it 29 yards. The Huskies made a field goal on the ensuing drive to make it a three-score margin late in the fourth quarter. 
• For the game, McDuffie finished with two tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.

Also nominated: Jayden Daniels, QB, ASU; Makai Polk, CB, CAL; Mykael Wright, WR, ORE

Golden Bears Outshine Bruins to Close Season

Cal Bears vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday November 30 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

PASADENA, Calif. — Christopher Brown Jr. showed UCLA that he could run it, as he carried the ball for 111 yards and two touchdowns for the California Golden Bears in a 28-18 victory over the UCLA Bruins Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

Cal Bears vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday November 30 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

If it was Chip Kelly’s last game as head coach at UCLA, he was going to call plays his way. Do not think for a second that he would really go out in an ordinary fashion. His Bruins would run tempo on offense and go for it on fourth downs.

At the end of the night, the result was the same as it has been for the majority of Kelly’s tenure in Westwood, which showed the Bruins with fewer points on the scoreboard than their opponents. The Bruins finish the season with a four wins to eight losses, which is actually an improvement Kelly’s Bruins’ three wins last season.

Cal Bears vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday November 30 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

“I think this team is growing,” said Kelly.  “I’ve watched how these guys have responded to everything that they have faced during the season. We knew going in, the challenges that we had, we were a young team and guys were going to have to get experience on the run… There are some young guys here where we are really excited about what their future is.”

Rumors have been circulating about Kelly leaving the program in recent weeks.

“I don’t know where they came from and I have not had any discussions with anybody,” said Kelly. “My commitment level is the same since I’ve been here, it’s been 100 percent. We go to work every day and give everything we have to this program.”

Cal Bears vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday November 30 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

The Bruins had a chance to end the season with a win but the defensive unit could not get stops when it needed to.  The Bears averaged 80 yards on their four scoring drives.

The 10-yard touchdown run by Brown on the first play of the final stanza for the Bears to put them up 28-18 for the final score and made it the twelfth consecutive fourth quarter in which the Bruins have given up a touchdown – every game this season. From an X’s and O’s standpoint it would seem that defense would be what the Bruins need to prioritize.

“You’ve got to look at everything that goes on,” said Kelly. “We’ll always assess everything after the season, scheme and personnel and everything. We will look at everything and we’re always trying to improve and try to make ourselves better.”

Cal Bears vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday November 30 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

An announced attendance of 38,102 in the Rose Bowl saw UCLA quarterback find tight end Devin Asiasi, who had game highs of 8 receptions and 99 yards, on first play of the game for 22 yards. That opening drive would stall but the Bruin’s defense would hold Cal to a three and out on its first possession.  

A 19-yard catch by Jaylen Erwin to close the Bruins next drive saw the home team on the scoreboard first with a 7-0 lead. It was Erwin’s second touchdown of the season. Things certainly looked promising in the beginning for the Bruins.

Another highlight for the Bruins was senior running back Joshua Kelley eclipsing the 1000-yard rushing mark back-to-back seasons. He is just the eighth Bruin all-time to accomplish that feat.

Cal Bears vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday November 30 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

“It feels pretty cool because there have been so many incredible running backs here – Coach [Deshaun] Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew, just so many incredible backs here,” said Kelley. “I know I didn’t win as much as those guys, and that’s something I really wish I could do. I think it’s pretty cool that someday I’ll see my name listed with some of those guys.”

Kelley feels the Bruins have many playmakers and it is going to be special for the young players in the upcoming seasons. Only time will tell.

Cal Bears vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday November 30 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Recent Stories