Pac-12 Football Performance Awards presented by Nextiva – Week Two

PAC-12 Football Media Day

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 today announced its 2021 football season’s second weekly performance awards, presented by Nextiva. See below for Week Two’s recognitions across the Conference:  

OFFENSE:  CJ Verdell, Jr., RB, Oregon (Chula Vista, CA)

  • Ran for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries in Oregon’s historic 35-28 win over then #3 ranked Ohio State.  Also led team with 3 receptions for 34 yards and another score.  Finished with 195 all-purpose yards and 3 total TD.
  • Surpassed 150 yards on the ground for the 5th time in his career and the 11th career 100-yard game (T-5th most in school history).
  • 7th in school history with 2,758 rushing yards and tied for 9th all-time at Oregon with 24 career rushing TD.
  • Oregon’s 269 total rushing yards are the most by any team against Ohio State in Ohio Stadium since November 22, 2014.
  • 3rd time winning the award, taking it home in as a sophomore in October 2019 and a freshman in October 2018.

Also nominated:  B.J. Baylor, RB, Oregon State; Micah Bernard, RB, Utah; Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State; Jayden de Laura, QB, Washington State, Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford

Check out the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Watchlist, presented by Nextiva, to learn more. 

DEFENSE:  Kyu Blu Kelly, Jr., CB, Stanford (Las Vegas, NV)

  • Returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown while adding 7 tackles and 3 pass breakups in 42-28 win at then #14 USC.
  • 1st Stanford player with an interception returned for a touchdown since 2017 when Bobby Okereke returned one 52 yards at Washington State.
  • Held USC WR Drake London to 4 receptions and 68 yards off 10 targets, one week after London had 12 receptions for 137 yards.
  • 1st Stanford player with interceptions in back-to-back weeks since Paulson Adebo in 2019.
  • 1st Stanford player to win the award since Adebo won it twice in 2019.

Also nominated:  Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon; Nate Landman, ILB, Colorado; Avery Roberts, ILB, Oregon State; Darien Butler, LB, Arizona State; Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah; Justus Rogers, LB, Washington State; Anthony Pandy, LB, Arizona

SPECIAL TEAMS:  Travell Harris, R-Sr., WR, Washington State (Tampa, FL)

  • Finished with a total of 188 all-purpose yards, including 58 on 3 punt returns and 50 on 1 kickoff return.  The 50-yard kickoff return is the 3rd longest of his career and 7th time he’s had a kickoff return of 40 yards or more.  Had career-long 22-yard punt return which led to a Cougar touchdown.
  • Had 80 receiving yards on 6 receptions including 2 touchdowns.
  • 2nd time he’s won the award and the first time a Washington State player has won since Harris won it in September 2018 as a redshirt freshman.
  • 2nd straight week the winner is originally from Tampa, Florida (Arizona State’s D.J. Taylor)

Also nominated:  Kyle Ostendorp, P, Arizona; Eddie Czaplicki, P, Arizona State; Camden Lewis, K, Oregon; Alex Stadthaus, PK, USC

OFFENSIVE LINE:  Alex Forsyth, Jr., C, Oregon (West Linn, OR)

  • Helped pave the way for Oregon to run for 269 yards, including 7.1 yards per carry, in Oregon’s historic win at then #3 Ohio State. Most rushing yards by any team against Ohio State in Ohio Stadium since November 22, 2014.  Ducks had 505 yards of total offense. 
  • Led Oregon with a whopping 6 knockdowns and did not allow a sack, hurry or pressure all game while recording a terrific 82.3 pass-blocking grade by Pro Football Focus.  Finished with a 70.3 total blocking grade by PFF while playing all 75 offensive snaps at center.
  • Has not allowed a sack, hurry, or pressure in 145 snaps to start the season.
  • First Oregon player to win this award since T.J. Bass won it in November 2020.  The Ducks won the award the first 2 weeks of last season, with Ryan Walk winning it in Week One.

Also nominated:  Kellen Diesch, LT, Arizona State; Joshua Gray, OL, Oregon State; Abe Lucas, OT, Washington State

DEFENSIVE LINE:  Bradyn Swinson, Fr., DE, Oregon (Douglasville, OR)

  • Recorded a critical sack in Oregon’s 35-28 win over then #3 Ohio State in Columbus, and finished with 5 total tackles and a pass breakup.  Sacked OSU quarterback CJ Stroud for 8 yards on 1st-and-10 with less than 4 minutes remaining and Oregon leading by 7.  Sack helped set up an Oregon interception that sealed the historic win for the Ducks
  • Matched career-high with 5 total tackles, and set a new career-high with 4 solo stops
  • Notched the second pass breakup of his career, nearly recording his first career interception in the 3rd quarter.
  • 1st Oregon player to win this award since Kayvon Thibodeaux won in December for the final weekly award of the 2020 season.

Also nominated:  Thomas Booker, DE, Stanford; Tyler Johnson, DE, Arizona State; Brennan Jackson, DE, Washington State

FRESHMAN:  Tanner McKee, R-Fr., QB, Stanford (Corona, CA)

  • Was 16-of-23 for 234 yards with 2 touchdowns through the air, while adding a rushing touchdown off 7 rushing yards in his first career start, a 42-28 victory at #14 USC.  First Pac-12 quarterback to beat a Top 25 opponent on the road in his first career start since Stanford’s Tavita Pritchard on October 6, 2007 at #2 USC.
  • Had zero turnovers and zero sacks on the night.
  • Only the second Stanford quarterback since 2003 to have 3 total touchdowns in their 1st career start (Kevin Hogan, 2012).  His 234 passing yards are the fourth most by a Stanford quarterback in their first career start, dating back to 2003.
  • The win was Stanford’s first at USC since 2015. The 14-point margin of victory is the 5th largest margin of victory at USC in the series history.
  • 2nd Stanford player to win the award since it started in 2019 with Simi Fehoko winning it in October 2019

Also nominated:  Bradyn Swinson, DE, Oregon; Anthony Gould, WR, Oregon State; Eddie Czaplicki, P, Arizona State; Andrew Edson, Edge, Washington State