SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 today announced its 2021 football season’s fourth weekly performance awards, presented by Nextiva. See below for Week Four’s recognitions across the Conference and keep track of the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year watchlist here:
OFFENSE: B.J. Baylor, RS Jr., RB, Oregon State (Wharton, TX)
- Helped lead Oregon State to a 45-27 win over USC; it marked the Beavers’ first win at USC since 1960.
- Ran for 158 yards, his second-best tally of the season and third-most overall in the Pac-12. The 158 yards are the most by a Pac-12 running back versus a conference opponent this season. That is 40 yards better than the No. 2 performance in a conference game.
- Averaged 6.9 yards per rush in the win, the second-best mark by an OSU running back versus USC in the past 25 seasons.
- Gained 8 first downs in the win.
- 1st Beaver to win the award since RB Jermar Jefferson won it twice in November 2020.
Also nominated for offense: Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA; Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State; TJ Pledger, RB, Utah; Drake Anderson, RB, Arizona; Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford; Anthony Brown, QB, Oregon
Check out the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Watchlist, presented by Nextiva, to learn more.
DEFENSE: Bennett Williams, Jr., Safety, Oregon (Campbell, CA)
- Named the Walter Camp National FBS Defensive Player of the Week.
- Led Oregon’s defense in a 41-19 win over Arizona to open Pac-12 play, recording 2 of the Ducks’ 5 total interceptions. Also matched his season-high with 8 tackles, including 6 solo.
- Returned his second interception 68 yards for a touchdown. First career game with multiple interceptions. One of just seven Oregon players since 2000 to have multiple INTs in a game while returning one for a TD. 68-yard pick-six is the longest by a Duck since 2017. Intercepted a pass in consecutive games for the first time in his career, and now has three in the last two games.
- Owns 3 of Oregon’s 9 interceptions on the season, tied for the most in the country. A main contributor to Oregon’s 13 total takeaways, the most in the nation.
- Was Oregon’s highest-graded player by PFF against Arizona with an 87.9 overall grade.
- 2nd straight week an Oregon player has won this award after Verone McKinley III won it last week.
Also nominated: Avery Roberts, ILB, Oregon State; Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah; Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington; Ron Stone Jr., Edge, Washington State; Qwuantrezz Knight, DB, UCLA; Kyle Soelle, LB, Arizona State
SPECIAL TEAMS: Kyle Philips, RS Jr., WR/KR, UCLA (San Marcos, CA)
- Registered 74 yards on 3 punt returns to cap off a big day in a win at Stanford. His first return of the game went for 59 yards and set up UCLA’s opening score which staked the Bruins to an early 7-0 lead. The redshirt junior now has a 19.5 yard career punt return average on 20 returns.
- Accumulated 194 all-purpose yards on the day against the Cardinal which included five receptions for 120 yards and a couple of fourth quarter touchdowns as a receiver.
- 4th Bruin receiver since 1996 to tally multiple 100-yard receiving games with two or more touchdowns in a season.
- 1st Bruin to win this award since Demetric Felton won in September 2019
Also nominated: Race Porter, P, Washington; Everett Hayes, PK, Oregon State; Camden Lewis, K, Oregon; Cameron Peasley, P, Utah; Ryan Sanborn, P, Stanford; D.J. Taylor, DB, Arizona State
OFFENSIVE LINE: Nathan Eldridge, RS Sr., C, Oregon State (Anthem, AZ)
- Part of an offensive line that helped Oregon State to 322 rushing yards in the win over USC. It was the Beavers’ first win at USC since 1960.
- Graded out at 83.1 on pass blocking by Pro Football Focus. That allowed OSU’s QB, Chance Nolan, to complete 15 of 19 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns.
- Made his 37th collegiate start and 11th consecutively.
- 2nd time a Beaver has won this award since it started in 2019, with Eldridge also winning it in November 2020.
Also nominated: Donovan Laie, LG, Arizona; Dohnovan West, C, Arizona State; T.J. Bass, OG, Oregon
DEFENSIVE LINE: Van Fillinger, Fr., DE, Utah (Draper, UT)
- Had 3.0 sacks, the first 3 of his career, in Utah’s 24-13 win over Washington State. His first sack came on the Cougars opening drive, his second on a crucial 3rd down stop in the 3rd quarter and his third on WSU’s last drive of the day.
- 1st Utah player with 3.0 sacks in a game since Bradlee Anae had 3.0 against Arizona State in 2019 and most ever sacks in a game by a Utah freshman.
- Helped lead the Utes to an 8-sack game, the most Utah has had since they recorded 11 at Arizona State in November 2016.
- First time a Ute has won it since 2019. Utah players won it 5 times in 2019, the first season of the award, with 4 different Utes winning it that year.
Also nominated: Ryan Bowman, OLB/DE, Washington; Mo Diallo, DL, Arizona; Keonte Schad, DL, Oregon State; Brandon Dorlus, DT, Oregon; Thomas Booker, DE, Stanford; Anthonie Cooper, DL, Arizona State; Ron Stone, Jr., Edge, Washington State
FRESHMAN: Karene Reid, Fr., LB, Utah (American Fork, UT)
- In his first career start at rover, had 15 tackles, a sack and an interception in Utah’s 24-13 win over Washington State.
- The 15 tackles are the most by a Pac-12 player this season and the most by an FBS freshman this season. It’s the most by a true freshman at Utah since at least 2005. Reid did not have a tackle in Utah’s first 3 games this season.
- Had an INT with 2:48 remaining in the 1st quarter to spoil Washington State’s 1st red zone opportunity of the game. It was his first career INT and he added his first career sack in the game as well.
- First Ute to win the award since Ty Jordan won it in each of the final 3 weeks of the 2020 season.
Also nominated for freshman: Noah Sewell, ILB, Oregon; Sione Lolohea, DL, Oregon State; Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford; De’Zhaun Stribling, WR, Washington State; Joe Moore, DL, Arizona State