Athlon hands out the awards from the Week 12 action in the Pac-12.
Week 12 of the 2017 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments from the Pac-12. The weekend action featured Arizona State becoming bowl eligible after a win at Oregon State, Stanford winning its annual rivalry matchup against California, and USC knocked off rival UCLA to finish the regular season at 10-2. Additionally, Oregon welcomed quarterback Justin Herbert back into the starting lineup with a win against Arizona, and Washington rallied to beat Utah on a game-winning field goal as time expired.
With the 12th weekend of the 2017 season in the books, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor some of the top performances from the Pac-12. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, team, freshman and unsung hero from Week 12:
Pac-12 Week 12 College Football Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
Freeman rushed for 135 yards and four touchdowns on just 19 carries in Oregon’s win over Arizona on Saturday night.
Defensive Player of the Week: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC
Nwosu recorded eight tackles (one for a loss), one sack and two pass breakups in USC’s win over UCLA.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Billy Napier, Arizona State
The Sun Devils clinched bowl eligibility after beating Oregon State 40-24 on Saturday. Napier’s offense was a big reason why Arizona State hit the six-win mark, as this unit posted 453 total yards (6.7 per play) and scored in all four trips inside of the red zone. The Sun Devils had good balance, recording 167 through the air and 286 on the ground. Additionally, Arizona State had only two three-and-outs and lost only one turnover.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Jim Leavitt, Oregon
Arizona’s high-powered offense was held in check by Oregon’s defense on Saturday night. The Ducks limited the Wildcats to 330 total yards (4.1 per play), and dynamic quarterback Khalil Tate was held to just 32 rushing yards on 14 carries. Leavitt’s group forced two turnovers and allowed only seven points after halftime.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford
Smith grabbed three passes for 43 yards, including a 17-yard score in Saturday’s win over California.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Ryan Bowman, LB, Washington
Bowman registered five tackles, with 2.5 going for a loss in Saturday night’s win over Utah.
Team of the Week: Oregon
Oregon picked up an important sixth victory on Saturday night, as coach Willie Taggart’s team knocked off a surging Arizona program 48-28 in Eugene. With quarterback Justin Herbert back under center after missing five games due to a collarbone injury, the Ducks scored their highest point total (48) in a Pac-12 game this season. Herbert’s return also took some pressure off of running back Royce Freeman, with the senior posting 135 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries. In addition to the fireworks on offense, Oregon’s defense stepped up and contained an explosive Arizona attack. The Wildcats were held to just 330 yards, and dynamic sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate never got on track on the ground. With rival Oregon State up next, the Ducks should be able to finish the season 7-5 and end Taggart’s debut with a little momentum.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Tristan Vizcaino, K, Washington
Vizcaino rebounded from missing a 30-yard field goal and an extra point to nail a 38-yard kick as time expired to give Washington a 33-30 victory over Utah.