Ducks and Beavers Lead Pac-12 Football Weekly Performance Awards

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)

  • Named the Walter Camp National FBS Defensive Player of the Week.
  • 2nd straight week an Oregon player has won this award after Verone McKinley III won it last week.
  • Led Oregon’s defense in a 41-19 win over Arizona to open Pac-12 play, recording 2 of the Ducks’ 5 total interceptions.  Also matched his season-high with 8 tackles, including 6 solo.
  • Returned his second interception 68 yards for a touchdown.
  • First career game with multiple interceptions.
  • One of just seven Oregon players since 2000 to have multiple INTs in a game while returning one for a TD.
  • Intercepted a pass in consecutive games for the first time in his career – now has six career INTs.
  • Now has three interceptions in the last two games, helping Oregon lead the nation with 13 total takeaways through four games.
  • Owns 3 of Oregon’s 9 interceptions on the season, tied for the most in the country.  A main contributor to Oregon’s 13 total takeaways, the most in the nation.
  • Was Oregon’s highest-graded player by PFF against Arizona with an 87.9 overall grade.
  • 68-yard pick-six is the longest by an Oregon player since 2017 (Tyree Robinson – 100 yards).
  • Tied for third in the nation with three interceptions on the season.
  • Oregon is tied for the national lead in interceptions with nine on the season, three coming from Williams.
  • Matched his season-high with eight total tackles, including six solo.

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)

  • Helped lead Oregon State to a 45-27 win over USC; it marked the Beavers’ first win at USC since 1960.
  • Ran for 158 yards, his second-best tally of the season and third-most overall in the Pac-12. The 158 yards are the most by a Pac-12 running back versus a conference opponent this season. That is 40 yards better than the No. 2 performance in a conference game.
  • Averaged 6.9 yards per rush in the win, the second-best mark by an OSU running back versus USC in the past 25 seasons.
  • Gained 8 first downs in the win.
  • 1st Beaver to win the award since RB Jermar Jefferson won it twice in November 2020.

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)

  • Registered 74 yards on 3 punt returns to cap off a big day in a win at Stanford. His first return of the game went for 59 yards and set up UCLA’s opening score which staked the Bruins to an early 7-0 lead. The redshirt junior now has a 19.5 yard career punt return average on 20 returns.
  • Accumulated 194 all-purpose yards on the day against the Cardinal which included five receptions for 120 yards and a couple of fourth quarter touchdowns as a receiver.
  • 4th Bruin receiver since 1996 to tally multiple 100-yard receiving games with two or more touchdowns in a season.
  • 1st Bruin to win this award since Demetric Felton won in September 2019

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)

  • Part of an offensive line that helped Oregon State to 322 rushing yards in the win over USC. It was the Beavers’ first win at USC since 1960.
  • Graded out at 83.1 on pass blocking by Pro Football Focus. That allowed OSU’s QB, Chance Nolan, to complete 15 of 19 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Made his 37th collegiate start and 11th consecutively.
  • 2nd time a Beaver has won this award since it started in 2019, with Eldridge also winning it in November 2020.

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)

  • Had 3.0 sacks, the first 3 of his career, in Utah’s 24-13 win over Washington State. His first sack came on the Cougars opening drive, his second on a crucial 3rd down stop in the 3rd quarter and his third on WSU’s last drive of the day.
  • 1st Utah player with 3.0 sacks in a game since Bradlee Anae had 3.0 against Arizona State in 2019 and most ever sacks in a game by a Utah freshman.
  • Helped lead the Utes to an 8-sack game, the most Utah has had since they recorded 11 at Arizona State in November 2016.
  • First time a Ute has won it since 2019.  Utah players won it 5 times in 2019, the first season of the award, with 4 different Utes winning it that year.

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)

  • In his first career start at rover, had 15 tackles, a sack and an interception in Utah’s 24-13 win over Washington State.
  • The 15 tackles are the most by a Pac-12 player this season and the most by an FBS freshman this season. It’s the most by a true freshman at Utah since at least 2005. Reid did not have a tackle in Utah’s first 3 games this season.
  • Had an INT with 2:48 remaining in the 1st quarter to spoil Washington State’s 1st red zone opportunity of the game. It was his first career INT and he added his first career sack in the game as well.
  • First Ute to win the award since Ty Jordan won it in each of the final 3 weeks of the 2020 season.

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

Date  Offensive Defensive Special Teams Offensive
Defensive Line Freshman
Sept. 7 Zach Charbonnet, UCLA Devin Lloyd, UTAH D.J. Taylor, ASU Alec Anderson, UCLA D.J. Davidson, ASU Justin Flowe, ORE
Sept. 13 CJ Verdell, ORE Kyu Blu Kelly, STAN Travell Harris, WSU Alex Forsyth, ORE Bradyn Swinson, ORE Tanner McKee, STAN
Sept. 20 Jaxson Dart, USC Verone McKinley III, ORE Britain Covey, UTAH T.J. Bass, ORE Drake Jackson, USC Jaxson Dart, USC
Sept. 27 B.J. Baylor, OSU Bennett Williams, ORE Kyle Philips, UCLA Nathan Eldridge, OSU Van Fillinger, UTAH Karene Reid, UTAH

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