Pac-12 Performance Awards, presented by Nextiva - Football Week Two
The Pac-12 today announced its 2023 football season's second weekly performance awards, presented by Nextiva. See below for Week Two's recognitions across the Conference and keep track of the 2023 Offensive Player of the Year watchlist here:
OFFENSE: Bo Nix, Sr., QB, Oregon (Pinson, Ala.)
- Led Oregon to a 38-30 comeback win at Texas Tech
- Completed 32-of-44 passes for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns, and rushed 9 times for a team-high 46 yards
- 32 completions tied for seventh-most in UO single-game history
- Eighth career game with 300-plus passing yards, and fourth as a Duck
- Threw a 72-yard TD in the first quarter, his longest as a Duck and second-longest of his career.
- Fourth time winning this award after winning it in three straight weeks last season.
Also nominated: Caleb Williams, QB, USC; Michael Penix, Jr., QB, Washington; Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado; Tetairoa McMillan, WR, Arizona; Nate Johnson, QB, Utah; Damien Martinez, RB, Oregon State; Dante Moore, QB, UCLA; Elijhah Badger, WR, Arizona State
Check out the 2023 Offensive Player of the Year Watchlist, presented by Nextiva, to learn more.
DEFENSE & DEFENSIVE LINE: Ron Stone Jr., RS Sr., EDGE, Washington State (San Jose, Calif.)
- Since the Defensive Lineman of the Week Award was created in 2019, Stone becomes just the fourth player to win both awards in the same week. USC's Tuli Tuipulotu did it in 2022, Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux twice in 2021 and Utah's Bradlee Anae in 2019.
- Sparked the WSU defense collecting 5 tackles (3 solo), 2 sacks, 2 tackles-for-loss and 2 forced fumbles to lead WSU's victory over No. 19 Wisconsin.
- On back-to-back Wisconsin possessions, Stone sacked quarterback Tanner Mordecai while forcing fumbles on both plays. The second strip sack came at the Wisconsin 2-yard line as fellow edge Brennan Jackson picked up the loose ball and ran into the end zone, giving WSU a 24-6 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half.
- 5 total pressures and first career two-sack game
- Best edge grade in the Pac-12 last week, seventh-best edge grade in the country last week. Fourth-best pass-rush grade in country among all players, best in the Pac-12
- WSU was hosting a ranked nonconference power 5 opponent for the first time in program history
- This is the second time that Stone was named Defensive Lineman of the Week, having previously won in Week 9 of 2021 and his first time winning Defensive Player of the Week. The last WSU player to win Defensive Lineman of the Week as Brennan Jackson in Week 11 of last season and Daiyan Henley was the last Cougar to win Defensive Player of the Week in Week 3 of last season.
Also nominated for Defensive Player: Cole Bishop, S, Utah; Jeffrey Bassa, ILB, Oregon; Darius Muasau, LB, UCLA; Jacob Manu, LB, Arizona, B.J. Green, DL, Arizona State; Max Williams, S, USC; Travis Hunter, CB/WR, Colorado; Easton Mascarenas-Arnold, ILB, Oregon State
Also nominated for Defensive Line: Brandon Dorlus, DE, Oregon; Isaac Hodgins, DT, Oregon State; Jonah Elliss, DE, Utah; B.J. Green, DL, Arizona State; Ta'ita'i Uiagalelei, DL, Arizona; Tajih Alston, DE, Colorado; Laiatu Latu, DL, UCLA; Bear Alexander, DL, USC
SPECIAL TEAMS: Zachariah Branch, Fr., WR/KR, USC (Las Vegas, Nev.)
- Returned a punt for a 75-yard TD in the second quarter of USC's 56-10 win over Stanford.
- First Trojan since Adoree' Jackson in 2016 to have a punt return TD, kickoff return TD (96-yard return vs. San Jose State in Week Zero) and at least one receiving touchdown in the same season. Jackson had two punt returns and two kickoff returns for TDs and one TD reception during the 2016 season. Since 1971 (when records are available) Branch is one of just three USC players to accomplish the feat, joining Jackson and Curtis Conway (1992: 1 kickoff return TD, 1 punt return TD, 5 rec TD).
- Also had 4 receptions for 30 yards and 1 carry for 2 rushing yards against Stanford.
- First in the nation for combined kick returns (283) and punt return yards (158)
- Tied for first in the nation in kickoff returns for TD (1) and punt return TD (1)
- Fifth in the nation in punt return AVG (22.6)
- Eighth in the nation (No. 1 in the Pac-12) for total touchdowns (4) and 11th in total points scored (24)
- 20th in the nation in all purpose yards per games (135.7)
- First USC player to win this award since kicker Parker Lewis in Week 5 of 2021 and first Trojans kick returner to win it since Michael Pittman Jr. in 2017.
Also nominated: Silas Bolden, WR/PR, Oregon State; Camden Lewis, K, Oregon; Jace Felly, K, Colorado; Tyler Loop, K, Arizona; Kyson Brown, RB, Arizona State; Jack Bouwmeester, P, Utah;
OFFENSIVE LINE: Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, Jr., LT, Colorado (Davis, Calif.)
- Graded out to a 91.6 on PFF for pass protection against Nebraska, as he allowed just one pressure on 55 plays for a pass block efficiency of 99.1 percent.
- Also graded out to 76.5 percent for run blocking and 84.0 percent overall by PFF.
- Has a season pass block grade of 90.2 by PFF, 13th best in the nation, third in the Pac-12 and eighth in Power 5.
- Only the second time a Colorado player has won this award since it was created in 2019, with Arlington Hambright honored in Week 11 of that season.
Also nominated: Justin Dedich, C, USC; Matteo Mele, C, Washington; Tanner Miller, RG, Oregon State; Ajani Cornelius, RT, Oregon; Garrett DiGiorgio, RT, UCLA; Jonah Savaiinaea, RT, Arizona; Keaton Bills, LG, Utah; Leif Fautanu, C, Arizona State
- Threw for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns while leading UCLA to a 35-10 win at San Diego State in what was his first career start.
- Tied the school true freshman record with his 3 scoring tosses (also Josh Rosen and Cade McNown).
- 290 yards was the eighth-most ever by a Bruin true freshman quarterback.
- 81-yard scoring connection to Josiah Norwood was the longest completion ever by a true freshman quarterback at UCLA.
- Moore is the first Bruin quarterback of any class to make his first career start on the road and lead the team to victory since 2012 (Brett Hundley at Rice).
- Completed 17-27 passes with no interceptions on the day.
- Only second UCLA player to win this award since it was created in 2019 with WR Kyle Philips taking it home twice that season.
Also nominated: Nate Johnson, QB, Utah; Zachariah Branch, WR, USC; Dylan Edwards, RB, Colorado; Jaden Rashada, QB, Arizona State; Aidan Chiles, QB, Oregon State; Teitum Tuioti, OLB, Oregon
|Sept. 5||Shedeur Sanders, Colorado||Travis Hunter, Colorado||Jack Bouwmeester, Utah||Brian Driscoll California||David Bailey Stanford||Dylan Edwards, Colorado|
|Sept. 11||Bo Nix, Oregon||Ron Stone Jr., Washington State||Zachariah Branch, USC||Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, Colorado||Ron Stone Jr., Washington State||Dante Moore, UCLA|