OFFENSE: Michael Penix Jr., Jr., QB, Washington.
Penix Jr. kept his early-season roll going with a terrific game to beat No. 11 Michigan State 39-28. He completed 24 of 40 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Penix avoided a sack for the third game in a row, this time against a Michigan State defense that began the week as the NCAA leader in sacks.
Penix led the Huskies to touchdowns on five of their six drives. His 397 yards ranks eighth on the UW single-game passing yards list, while his four TD passes are tied for eighth, matching the total he put up in the season opener. With 10 touchdown passes, he is tied for fourth in the nation.
Penix is the first UW player to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week since running back Myles Gaskin in the final week of the 2019 season and first UW quarterback to do it since Jake Browning in November 2017. Penix Jr. was a 2-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week at Indiana in 2019.
Also nominated: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon; Cameron Rising, QB, Utah; Chance Nolan, QB, Oregon State; Jayden de Laura, QB, Arizona; Jake Bobo, WR, UCLA; Travis Dye, RB, USC; Cameron Ward, QB, Washington State
DEFENSE: Daiyan Henley, RS Sr., LB, Washington State
Henley had a huge day in WSU’s 38-7 victory over Colorado State, registering a game-high 13 tackles, five solo, with three sacks and two forced fumbles.
As he did against Wisconsin the previous week, Henley started fast with five tackles, including a sack, in the first quarter. He led a Cougar defense that held Colorado State to a late-game touchdown and just 249 total yards on offense Henley ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in tackles and leads or tied for the lead in sacks, tackles-for-loss and forced fumbles.
Per PFF, Henley had the second-best linebacker defensive grade in the country in Week 3, and the best in the Pac-12. He also had the best overall defensive grade in the Pac-12 last week. Owns the best defensive grade among all Pac-12 players for the season.
Henley is the first WSU player to take home this award this season after three different Cougars won it last year (George Hicks III, Jahad Woods and Armani Marsh).
Also nominated: Karene Reid, LB, Utah; Brandon Dorlus, DE, Oregon; Jerry Roberts, LB, Arizona; Solomon Byrd, DL, USC; Darius Muasau, LB, UCLA; Rejzohn Wright, DB, Oregon State.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Nicholas Barr-Mira, RS Jr., K, UCLA.
Barr-Mira converted all four of his field goal attempts, including the game-winning kick on the game’s final play, to help the Bruins defeat South Alabama 32-31.
In addition to the game-deciding kick which came from 24 yards out, Barr-Mira added a career-long 49-yard field goal in the first quarter. His total of four field goals was also a career best mark for the redshirt junior. He recorded 14 points in all on the day.
It is the second time Barr-Mira has won this award, also earning it in Week 6 of last season.
Also nominated: Anthony Gould, WR/PR, Oregon State; Devaughn Vele, WR/PR, Utah; Camden Lewis, K, Oregon; Kyle Ostendorp, P, Arizona; Denis Lynch, PK, USC