Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 12

PAC-12 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Rick Gurrola / fi360 News)
Pac-12 Football Players of the Week – Week 12

OFFENSE: Anthony Gordon, R-Sr., QB, Washington State (Pacifica, Calif.)
• Led WSU to a 49-22 victory over visiting Stanford as he completed 44 of 60 passes (73.3%) for 520 yards, five TDs and 1 interception.
• Upped his season total to 39, most in WSU single-season history and tied for fourth-most in Pac-12 single-season history
• Gordon’s 520 yards, his 2nd 500-yard game this season, upped his season passing total to 4,314, fifth-most in WSU history and 10th-most in Pac-12 history.
• Gordon led the Cougars to scores on nine of WSU’s 11 drives, with the non-scoring drives ending on an interception and the final drive of the game with WSU taking a knee.
• Completed passes to eight different receivers and was at his best in the second half, completing 17 of 19 passes (89.5%) for 203 yards and two TDs.
• Completed 9 of 11 3rd-down passes for 148 yards, 2 TDs, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

Also nominated: Brandon Aiyuk, KR/PR/WR, ASU; Justin Herbert, QB, ORE; Jake Luton, QB, OSU; Davis Mills, QB, STAN; Kedon Slovis, QB, USC; Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah.

DEFENSE: Julian Blackmon, Sr., S, Utah (Layton, Utah)
• Finished with a game-high 12 tackles (1.5 sacks, 1.5 TFL), adding a forced fumble and an interception in Utah’s 49-3 win over UCLA. 
• He is a part of a defense that has held five opponents to single-digits this season, including four games holding an opponent without a touchdown. 
• Is tied for the Pac-12 lead with four interceptions this season and is tied for ninth in the FBS 
• Assisted in a sack for a loss of nine yards on a second-and-goal for the Bruins, pushing them back to the Utah nine-yard line where they eventually had to settle on a field goal in the first drive of the game.
• Forced a fumble on a sack for a loss of 17 yards on a third-and-10 for the Bruins with Utah picking it up and running it back for a 68-yard return.

Also nominated: Troy Dye, LB, ORE; Hamilcar Rashed Jr., LB, OSU; Jahad Woods, LB, WSU

SPECIAL TEAMS: Brandon Aiyuk, Sr., KR/PR/WR, Arizona State (Reno, Nev.)
• Three punt returns for 76 yards, including a 63-yard return for touchdown at Oregon State.
• Also had two kickoff returns for 44 yards.
• Combined with his performance on offense, Aiyuk collected 293 all-purpose yards (173 receiving, 76 punt return, 44 kick return), the fifth-most in single-game program history. This represents his seventh performance with 100+ all-purpose yards this season and 11th of his career.

Also nominated: Chase McGrath, PK, USC; Travell Harris, KR/WR, WSU

OFFENSIVE LINE: Shane Lemieux, Sr., RG, Oregon (Yakima, Wash.)
• Finished as the highest-graded guard in the Pac-12 for week 12 by Pro Football Focus during No. 6 Oregon’s 34-6 win over Arizona.
• Made his 48th consecutive start at right guard. • Did not allow a hit, hurry or pressure on the QB over 67 snaps
• Led the Ducks with a season-high seven knockdowns and had a 97 percent assignment grade from the Oregon coaches.
• Had an 80.4 overall grade from PFF, good for third best nationally among guards
• Protected QB Justin Herbert, who threw for 333 yards and four TDs
• Oregon totaled 471 yards of offense and averaged 7.0 yards per play.

Also nominated: Blake Brandel, OT, OSU; Frederick Mauigoa, OG, WSU

DEFENSIVE LINE: Mika Tafua, So., DE, Utah (Laie, Hawaii)
• Tafua was a key part in Utah’s 49-3 win over UCLA, scoring Utah’s defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery return while contributing five tackles (1.0 TFL) and his fourth fumble recovery of the season. 
• Tafua’s fumble recovery return for 68 yards was Utah’s fifth defensive touchdown of the season and is tied for the fourth-longest fumble return in school history.
• Tafua is tied for first in FBS football and ranks first in the Pac-12 this season in fumbles recovered (4). 
• He is a part of the Utah defense that held UCLA to 50 yards rushing, the ninth team this season that Utah has held to under 100 yards rushing.

Also nominated: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, ORE; Simon Sandberg, DL, OSU

FRESHMAN: Drake London, Fr., WR, USC (Moorpark, Calif.)
• London had 6 receptions for 111 yards with an 8-yard TD catch in the 41-17 win at California. 
• It was his first 100-yard game in his career. 
• He had a 45-yard catch in which he outjumped a defender and wrestled the ball away, the second consecutive week he has used his basketball skills to make a spectacular grab (he plans to join the Trojan basketball team in January). 
• He now has 27 receptions with 3 TDs on the year and his 14.5 average yards per reception tops USC regulars.

Also nominated: Jayden Daniels, QB, ASU; Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, ORE; Omar Speights, LB, OSU