OFFENSE: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Sr., QB, UCLA (Las Vegas, NV)
Second time that he has won this award, also winning it in Week Four of the 2019 season. It’s the second time a UCLA player has won this award this season with RB Zach Charbonnet taking it in Week One.
Accounted for six of the eight UCLA offensive touchdowns on the day in the 62-33 win over USC. Thompson-Robinson, who tossed four scoring passes in the game, completed his final 14 straight passing attempts in the contest while throwing for a season-high of 349 yards.
He averaged 21.8 yards per completion and 15.9 yards per passing attempt in the contest. On the game, he connected on 16 of 22 attempts overall.
Added 46 rushing yards on 11 carries for two more touchdowns and a total offense count of 395 yards for the day.
Thompson-Robinson piloted the offense to a season-high 609 yards and a 9.2 yards per play average for the game.
It was the most points ever scored by a Bruin team in the annual crosstown rivalry game.
Also nominated: B.J. Baylor, RB, Oregon State; Trevon Clark, WR, California; Tavion Thomas, RB, Utah; Max Borghi, RB, Washington State; Michael Wiley, RB, Arizona
DEFENSE: Jahad Woods, Gr., LB, Washington State (San Diego, CA)
Third time that Woods has won this award but the first since 2018 (also won in 2017). He’s the second Cougar to win this award this season, DB George Hicks III was honored in Week Six.
Recorded a game-high 12 tackles, 1.5 for loss, forced a fumble and picked off a pass in the Cougars’ 44-18 win over Arizona. Woods collected all 12 tackles in the second and third quarters as WSU outscored Arizona 30-10 in that span.
Sits at 8.73 tackles per game, second in the Pac-12. Woods ran his career tackles total to 415, third most among active FBS players and tops in the Pac-12 Conference.
His interception came in midway through the fourth quarter, sealing the victory with his first pick of the season.
Recorded 1.5 tackles-for-loss to push his career total to 36, passing Peyton Pelluer and Rien Long for seventh-most in WSU history.
Registered his fourth-straight double-digit tackle effort, fifth of the season and 16th of his career.
Also nominated: Lu-Magia Hearns III, CB, California; Cole Bishop, Safety, Utah; Quentin Lake, DB, UCLA; Kyrei Fisher, ILB, Oregon State; Carson Wells, OLB, Colorado; Kyle Soelle, LB, Arizona State
SPECIAL TEAMS: Britain Covey, Jr., WR/KR, Utah (Provo, UT)
Second time that Covey has won this award this season, having earned this honor in Week Three.
Returned two punts for 90 yards and two other kickoffs for 59 yards in No. 23 Utah’s win over No. 3 Oregon (Nov. 20). Covey had the highlight of the night with a 78-yard punt return touchdown as the first half expired. It was his second such score this season and fourth of his career.
Covey is the first Pac-12 player with multiple punt return touchdowns in a season since 2017, when both Dante Pettis (Washington; 4) and Shun Brown (Arizona; 2) accomplished the feat. Covey is just the fifth known player since 1937 with multiple 70-yard punt return touchdowns in a single season, and first since 2013. Covey’s 17.5 yard punt return average leads FBS.
Utah’s win over the third-ranked Ducks is the highest-ranked victory for Utah against an opponent ranked in the CFP. Against the AP poll, Utah’s win over Oregon (No. 4) was the highest ranked victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium and tied the highest overall AP-ranked victory in program history, matching a win over No. 4 Alabama in the 2008 Sugar Bowl. Utah has two wins over AP-ranked opponents in 2021, the first such feat for the Utes since 2015.
The Utes have won at least a share of four Pac-12 South titles (2015, ’18, ’19, ’21) since joining the league in 2011.
Also nominated: Kazmeir Allen, WR/KR, UCLA; Joey Hobert, WR, Washington State; Chad Johnson Jr., WR, Arizona State
OFFENSIVE LINE: Ben Coleman, RS So., LG, California (Murrieta, CA)
First time a Cal player has won this award since it was created prior to the 2019 season.
Had the highest internal grade of Cal’s offensive lineman (90%) in a historic performance for the Golden Bears’ offense in a 41-11 victory at Stanford that was Cal’s biggest margin of victory in the Big Game since 2004. Cal’s offense produced a Big Game record 636 yards of total offense including 352 on the ground that was the most by the Bears in any game since Cal rushed for 431 yards against Washington on Dec. 6, 2008.
Coleman threw a key block to spring Marcel Dancy on a 76-yard touchdown run while the Bears became the first FBS team this season and the first Pac-12 team since 2014 to record three plays of 75 or more yards in a game. Dancy’s run was Cal’s longest since an 81-yard touchdown run by Brendan Bigelow at Ohio State in 2012.
Also had what Cal defines as four “above & beyond” plays.
Also nominated: Brandon Kipper, OL, Oregon State; Sataoa Laumea, RG, Utah; Abe Lucas, OT, Washington State; Paiton Fears, RT, Arizona; Kary Kutsch, LG, Colorado
DEFENSIVE LINE: Junior Tafuna, Fr., DT, Utah (Taylorsville, UT)
First honor for Tafuna but he’s the second Ute to win this award this season with Van Fillinger selected in Week Four.
Turned in three tackles (1.5 sacks for 9 yards) during No. 23 Utah’s win over No. 3 Oregon (Nov. 20). First tackle of the game came just before halftime, putting Oregon in a fourth down situation. Britain Covey ultimately returned the punt 78 yards for a touchdown as the half expired.
Wrapped up Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown for a seven-yard sack on the third play of the third quarter. He was in on another sack with Zemaiah Vaughn as time ticked away late in the third period.
Now has 4.5 sacks on the season, leading all Pac-12 freshmen.
Also nominated: Mitchell Agude, DE, UCLA; Keonte Schad, DL, Oregon State
FRESHMAN: Lu-Magia Hearns III, Fr., CB, California (Pittsburg, CA)
First Cal player to win this award since it was created prior to the 2019 season.
Set the tone with his first career interception on Stanford’s second offensive play from scrimmage and finished with a career-high and Cal season-high five passes defended in the Golden Bears’ 41-11 win at Stanford that was their largest margin of victory in the Big Game since 2004.
Hearns’ five passes defended were tied for the third-most in the nation in a single game this season and the most by a Pac-12 player, while his four pass breakups were tied for fifth nationally and tied for first in the Pac-12. He also contributed three tackles.
Now second in the Pac-12 with 0.90 passes defended per game
Also nominated: Cole Bishop, Safety, Utah; Jayden de Laura, QB, Washington State; Jaxson Dart, QB, USC; Will Plummer, QB, Arizona; Eric Gentry, LB, Arizona State