Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 1

PAC-12 Football Media Day

Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 1

OFFENSE: Anthony Gordon, R-Sr., QB, Washington State (Pacifica, Calif.)
• In his first career start, redshirt-senior Anthony Gordon completed 29-of-35 passes (82.8%) for 420 yards, five touchdowns and a QB rating of 230.8.
• Gordon completed touchdown passes to four different receivers, and eight receivers in all caught a Gordon pass.
• Gordon started the game with 15-straight completions and finished the first half completing 22-of-23 attempts (the only incompletion was a drop) for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
• Gordon led WSU to touchdown drives on each of his first six drives followed by field goals on each of the next two drives and a final touchdown on his final drive. In all, he led WSU to scores on all nine of the drives he started (7 touchdowns, 2 field goals).
• The 330 yards were the seventh-most in a half in school history.
• Candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award, the honor presented annually to the nation’s best quarterback.

Also nominated: Zack Moss, UTAH; Alex Fontenot, COLO; Christopher Brown, Jr., CAL; Isaiah Hodgins, OSU; Brandon Aiyuk, ASU; Aaron Fuller, WASH; Michael Wilson, STAN; Vavae Malepeai, USC.

DEFENSE: Francis Bernard, Sr., LB, Utah (Herriman, Utah)
• Taking on his former team in BYU, Francis Bernard shined for the Utes in his third career start, recording four tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss of three yards, and a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown.
• His pick-six was the first of his career and his 58-yard return was the second-longest in the Pac-12 in week one. It was his second interception at Utah and fifth of his career (three at BYU).
• Forced a third-and-long after tackling BYU’s running back for a loss of two yards on BYU’s first offensive drive of the game.
• On the next play, Bernard made a big third down stop, tackling the BYU wide receiver four yards short of a first down, forcing the Cougars to attempt a failed fourth down conversion.
• Intercepted Zach Wilson’s pass on second down with 11:03 left to go in the second quarter, taking it 58 yards to the end zone, breaking the 3-3 tie to give Utah a 9-3 lead.
• Assisted on a tackle for loss of two yards on a first-and-10 at the BYU 24, forcing a second-and-long.

Also nominated: Troy Dye, ORE; Isaiah Pola-Mao, USC; Mikial Onu, COLO; Kuony Deng, CAL; Kaylan Kearse-Thomas, ASU; Casey Toohil, STAN; Marcus Strong, WSU.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Michael Turk, R-So., P, Arizona State (Dallas, Texas)
ASU punter Michael Turk set a NCAA, Pac-12 and ASU record for highest average yards per punt in a game with a minimum of five attempts (63.0 yards per punt) in ASU’s 30-7 win over Kent State.
• Turk punted five times for 315 yards with boots of 64, 62, 65, 49 and 75 yards in his Sun Devil debut. Turk broke the NCAA record previously held by Braden Mann of Texas A&M (60.8 yards per punt average vs. Alabama on Sept. 22, 2018).
• Turk’s 75-yard punt in the fourth quarter tied for the sixth-longest punt in school history.
• For the night, Turk placed three of his five punts inside the 20.
• Turk was named to the Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List. The honor is presented annually to the nation’s best punter.

Also nominated: Velus Jones, USC; Blake Mazza, WSU; Dario Longhetto, CAL; Jet Toner, STAN; Alex Kinney, COLO; Jevon Holland, ORE

Washington State offensive lineman Liam Ryan during the PAC-12 Media Day at the Ray Dolby Ballroom located within Hollywood & Highlands (Photo by Jevone Moore)

OFFENSIVE LINE: Liam Ryan, R-Jr., OL, Washington State (Chino Hills, Calif.)
Did not allow a QB pressure on any of his snaps played.
• Graded out 90 percent for the game.
• Blocked for 100-yard rusher while quarterbacks threw for 507 yards.

Also nominated: Walker Little, STAN; Kary Kutsch, COLO; Michael Saffell, CAL; Jaxson Kirkland, WASH.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Benning Potoa’e, Sr., DL, Washington (DuPont, Wash.)
• Potoa’e led the Husky defense in Washington’s 47-14 win over Eastern Washington.
• The senior, who moved inside from OLB/DE to DT this season, posted four tackles, three of them for a loss, with two sacks.
• His first sack was a big one as he knocked the EWU QB for a 15-yard loss on a 3rd-and-3 play.
• His second sack, a four-yard loss, also came on a third-down attempt later in the game.
• Washington’s defense held EWU to 63 yards of rushing, sacked the QB four times and had nine tackles for loss.

Also nominated: Mika Tafua, UTAH; Mustafa Johnson, COLO; Luc Bequette, CAL; Drake Jackson, USC; Will Rodgers III, WSU; Jovan Swann, STAN; Jermayne Lole, ASU.

ASU QB Jayden Daniels during the Kent State vs Arizona State game in Tempe, AZ on August 29, 2019. Photo by John Hays / fi360 News

FRESHMAN: Jayden Daniels, Fr., QB, ASU (San Bernardino, Calif.)
• Jayden Daniels, the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for ASU, threw for 284 yards and accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in ASU’s 30-7 win over Kent State.
• Broke the previous ASU record for passing yards in first career game (160 by Jeff Krohn in 2000).
• After first half that included his first career touchdown pass (eight yards to RB Eno Benjamin), Daniels led ASU to scores on its first three possessions of the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
• Capped opening drive of second half with a one-yard scoring run and later in the third quarter found WR Brandon Aiyuk for a 77-yard scoring strike to extend ASU’s lead to 27-0.
• Candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award, the honor presented annually to the nation’s best quarterback.

Also nominated: Rodrick Fisher, WSU; Dario Longhetto, CAL; Ben Lennon, UTAH; Spencer Webb, ORE; Drake Jackson, USC.