Week 9 of the 2017 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments from the Pac-12. Stanford kicked off the Week 9 action with a last-second win over Oregon State on Thursday night. And as usual, Saturday provided plenty of drama around the league. Colorado beat California 44-28, and Washington rebounded from its loss to Arizona State by handling UCLA 44-23. Oregon beat Utah 41-20 to end a three-game losing streak, Arizona continued to surge behind quarterback Khalil Tate with a win over Washington State, and USC hammered Arizona State 48-17.
With the ninth 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 9:
Pac-12 Week 9 College Football Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona
Another week, another dominant performance from Tate. The sophomore completed 10 of 17 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns and added 146 yards and one score on the ground in a 58-37 victory over Washington State.
Defensive Player of the Week: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC
Nwosu wreaked havoc all night around the line of scrimmage against Arizona State. He led the defense with eight overall tackles (three for a loss), recorded three sacks, one pass and breakup.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Tee Martin, USC
Arizona State’s defense allowed just 20 points over its last two games prior to Saturday night’s matchup against USC. However, the Sun Devils were no match for the Trojans’ high-powered attack, as Martin’s group posted 607 total yards (7.5 per play), converted 7 of 15 third-down attempts and scored on seven of 12 drives on offense.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Jim Leavitt, Oregon
With starting quarterback Justin Herbert sidelined due to injury, Oregon had to lean on its defense and ground game to carry this team to a win over Utah. Leavitt’s defense delivered in a big way, as the Ducks held the Utes to 384 total yards (5.3 per play), forced one turnover and registered 10 tackles for a loss. Additionally, Oregon held Utah to just 91 rushing yards and clinched the win by ending the Utes’ final three drives on downs.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Tyler Vaughns, WR, USC
Vaughns was the go-to target for quarterback Sam Darnold on Saturday night, catching six passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Arizona State.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Tony Fields, LB, Arizona
Fields continued an impressive freshman season by recording 11 tackles (10 solo) and one interception in the win over Washington State on Saturday night.
Team of the Week: Arizona
Arizona earned its fourth win in a row by defeating Washington State 58-37 in Tucson. The victory over the Cougars sets up a huge showdown against USC next Saturday in the Coliseum. The Wildcats continue to ride the hot hand of quarterback Khalil Tate, as the sophomore accounted for 421 total yards and three scores. Tate had plenty of help in the backfield with J.J. Taylor accounting for 153 rushing yards, including a 79-yard touchdown in the third quarter. As expected, Washington State had success moving the ball (646 yards), but Arizona’s defense made plays when it counted. The Wildcats forced four turnovers, broke up six passes and registered one forced fumble.
Unsung Hero of the Week: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
Arcega-Whiteside caught only three passes in Thursday night’s win over Oregon State, but one of those was a three-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter with less than 25 seconds left to lift Stanford to a 15-14 win.