SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 announced its 2021 football season’s fourth weekly performance awards this week led by Oregon State’s B.J. Baylor following his dominant performance Saturday over the Trojans and Oregon’s Bennett Williams after his defensive breakout game. Oregon State offensive lineman Nathan Eldridge has been selected as the conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Week.
The honors continued to roll in for Bennett Williams as the Oregon safety was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Ducks’ 41-19 win over Arizona, as he made two interceptions and returned one 68 yards for a touchdown vs. the Wildcats. Williams was honored as the Walter Camp National FBS Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday. He was also selected to Pro Football Focus’ national team of the week on Monday.
Oregon has now won the conference’s defensive player of the week award in consecutive weeks, with Verone McKinley III claiming the honor following the Ducks’ win over Stony Brook. Williams and McKinley III have led the charge for an Oregon defense that leads the nation with 13 total takeaways, picking off three passes each over the last two games.
At least one Duck has won a Pac-12 weekly award after each of the first four games to open the season, and Oregon has had seven total conference honorees on the season.
Up I-5 in Corvallis, Oregon State is “not done yet” according to head coach Jonathan Smith while running back B.J. Baylor earned his first career Pac-12 honor as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and Nathan Eldridge was been selected as the conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Week for the second time of his collegiate career.
Baylor, a Wharton, Texas native, ran for 158 yards in the Beavers’ 45-27 victory over USC Saturday night. He ran for eight first downs, and now leads all Pac-12 running backs with 22 this season. On the year, he leads the Pac-12 averaging 105 rushing yards per game, totaling 422 over 61 carries. He’s also tied for the Pac-12 lead with seven rushing touchdowns.
Eldridge helped pave the way for Baylor’s ground attack, which paced OSU’s 322 total yards on the ground. QB Chance Nolan also passed for 213 yards and four scores. Eldridge, an Anthem, Ariz., native was also named the Pac-12’s Offensive Lineman of the Week on Nov. 30, 2020. Saturday’s game marked Eldridge’s 37th career collegiate start.
Baylor, Eldridge and the Beavers continue Pac-12 play Saturday when hosting Washington at Reser Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. The game will air live on the Pac-12 Network.
DEFENSE: Bennett Williams, Jr., Safety, Oregon (Campbell, CA)
Also nominated: Avery Roberts, ILB, Oregon State; Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah; Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington; Ron Stone Jr., Edge, Washington State; Qwuantrezz Knight, DB, UCLA; Kyle Soelle, LB, Arizona State
OFFENSE: B.J. Baylor, RS Jr., RB, Oregon State (Wharton, TX)
Also nominated for offense: Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA; Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State; TJ Pledger, RB, Utah; Drake Anderson, RB, Arizona; Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford; Anthony Brown, QB, Oregon
SPECIAL TEAMS: Kyle Philips, RS Jr., WR/KR, UCLA (San Marcos, CA)
Also nominated: Race Porter, P, Washington; Everett Hayes, PK, Oregon State; Camden Lewis, K, Oregon; Cameron Peasley, P, Utah; Ryan Sanborn, P, Stanford; D.J. Taylor, DB, Arizona State
OFFENSIVE LINE: Nathan Eldridge, RS Sr., C, Oregon State (Anthem, AZ)
Also nominated: Donovan Laie, LG, Arizona; Dohnovan West, C, Arizona State; T.J. Bass, OG, Oregon
DEFENSIVE LINE: Van Fillinger, Fr., DE, Utah (Draper, UT)
Also nominated: Ryan Bowman, OLB/DE, Washington; Mo Diallo, DL, Arizona; Keonte Schad, DL, Oregon State; Brandon Dorlus, DT, Oregon; Thomas Booker, DE, Stanford; Anthonie Cooper, DL, Arizona State; Ron Stone, Jr., Edge, Washington State
FRESHMAN: Karene Reid, Fr., LB, Utah (American Fork, UT)
Also nominated for freshman: Noah Sewell, ILB, Oregon; Sione Lolohea, DL, Oregon State; Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford; De’Zhaun Stribling, WR, Washington State; Joe Moore, DL, Arizona State
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