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
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