Washington State Leads This Week’s Pac 12 Conference Awards

SAN FRANCISCO – Washington State collected a pair of Pac-12 Conference honors Monday as defensive back George Hicks III was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week and left tackle Liam Ryan was named the Offensive Lineman of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.

Hicks III earns his first career Pac-12 accolade after leading the team with 10 tackles and his first interception of the season in the Cougars’ 31-24 win over Oregon State last weekend. According to PFF College, the senior from San Bernardino, Calif. earned the Pac-12’s second-highest overall defensive grade, the best coverage grade in the Pac-12 and sixth-best in country during last week’s win. Hicks’ interception came late in the first half and ended an Oregon State rally to keep it a one-score game. Hicks tallied seven tackles in the second half, including the final tackle of the game as OSU came up one yard short of a first down inside the red zone in the final minute.

Ryan earns his second career Pac-12 weekly accolade (New Mexico State, 2019) after anchoring an offensive line that helped produce 491 yards of total offense in the win over Oregon State. Ryan played a total 71 plays at left tackle, grading out at 96 percent with six knockdowns. Ryan earned the No. 12 offensive tackle grade in the country last week and did not allow a pressure on 47 passing snaps.

OFFENSE:  Cameron Rising, So., QB, Utah (Ventura, CA)

  • Powered the Utah offense in the win at USC (Oct. 9) with a 22-of-28 performance for 306 yards (13.9 ypc) and 3 touchdowns, plus a rushing score.  Completions, passing yards and TD scored were all career-highs.
  • Only Pac-12 QB this weekend to score 4 TD.   Led four scoring drives of 75-plus yards on the night, the most this weekend by a Pac-12 team.  After a 3-and-out on Utah’s first series, proceeded to march the Utes forward for touchdowns on five of the team’s next six possessions.
  • 7 of his 22 completions went for 15-plus yards, totaling 192 passing yards.  Connected with Devaughn Vele for a 37-yard touchdown on a perfectly-executed, fourth-down flea flicker with 10 seconds left in the first half, giving Utah a double-digit lead for the rest of the night.
  • 1st Utah QB to pass for 300-plus yards since 2019.
  • The win was Utah’s first road triumph over the Trojans since 1916 and first-ever in the LA Coliseum (opened 1923).
  • Honored this week by the Davey O’Brien Foundation as part of their Great 8 for top quarterback performances across the country.
  • 1st Utah player to win this award since Brant Kuithe won it in the final week of the 2019 season and 1st Utah QB to win it since Tyler Huntley won it twice in 2019.

Also nominated for offense:  Jayden de Laura, QB, Washington State; Drake London, WR, USC; Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State, Brittain Brown, RB, UCLA; Deshaun Fenwick, RB, Oregon State

DEFENSE:  George Hicks III, Gr., Safety, Washington State (San Bernardino, CA)

  • Career-high 10 tackles and an interception in WSU’s 31-24 victory over Oregon State.
  • Recorded his 1st interception of the season late in the 1st half ending an Oregon State rally and keeping it a one-score game.
  • Had 7 tackles in the 2nd half, including the final tackle of the game as OSU came up 1 yard short of a first down inside the red zone in the final minute.
  • 1st Washington State player to win this award since Jahad Woods won it in November 2018.

Also nominated:  Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State; Mika Tafua, DE, Utah; Avery Roberts, ILB, Oregon State; Otito Ogbonnia, DL, UCLA; Anthony Pandy, LB, Arizona

SPECIAL TEAMS:  Nicholas Barr-Mira, RS Soph., K, UCLA (Palos Verdes, CA)

  • Connected on both of his field goal attempts and all 4 of his extra points in UCLA’s 34-16 win at Arizona. Barr-Mira hit from 23 and 43-yards out to give him 8 field goals in 10 attempts this season.
  • His 23-yard kick put UCLA up 17-13 in the third quarter and his 43-yard effort put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter.
  • 2nd UCLA player to win this award this season with Kyle Philips winning for as a kick returner in Week 4.  First UCLA kicker to win this award since Ka’imi Fairbairn in October 2015.

Also nominated:  Ben Griffiths, P, USC; Everett Hayes, PK, Oregon State

OFFENSIVE LINE:  Liam Ryan, Gr., LT, Washington State (Chino Hills, CA)

  • Anchored an offensive line that helped produce 491 yards of total offense in WSU’s 31-24 win over Oregon State.
  • Played a total 71 plays at left tackle, grading out at 96 percent with six knockdowns.  Ryan did not allow a pressure or sack on the afternoon.
  • 2nd time this Ryan has won this award, winning it in Week 1 in 2019 and just the 3rd Cougar to win it since the award began in 2019 (Abe Lucas, November 2019).

Also nominated:  Bamidele Olaseni, LT, Utah; Dohnovan West, C, Arizona State; Nous Keobounnam, OL, Oregon State

DEFENSIVE LINE:  Tyler Johnson, Gr., DE, Arizona State (Temecula, CA)

  • Was a disruptive force, putting together his best performance of the season. Despite going up against 2 of the best tackles in the conference, Johnson was productive, not giving the quarterback much time to throw.
  • Finished with 5 total tackles (4 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks in a dominant effort. Johnson was also credited with a key forced fumble, the 3rd of his career, as he punched the ball out to force a turnover while Stanford was driving.
  • Eclipsed the 25 tackles for loss milestone in style, now boasting 26.5 in his career.
  • Now has 3 games in his career with multiple sacks. He sits just 4.5 sacks shy of a spot in the Top-10 in program history in the category.
  • Johnson was the 7th-highest graded defender in Pac-12 overall according to PFF and the 2nd-best among edge defenders (77.8). His 6 QB pressures were the most in the Pac-12 for the week (14th in FBS). Johnson managed to force a pressure on 18.8 percent of his snaps, most in the Pac-12 (18th in FBS).
  • For his efforts, Johnson was named Walter Camp National FBS Player of Week on defense.
  • 2nd time Johnson has won this award, taking it home in December of last year.  It’s also the 2nd time an ASU defender has won the award this year with D.J. Davidson winning it in Week 1.

Also nominated:  Mika Tafua, DE, Utah; Mo Diallo, DL, Arizona; Otito Ogbonnia, DL, UCLA

FRESHMAN:  Kamo’i Latu, Fr., Safety, Utah (Honolulu, HI)

  • Made his 1st career start at safety in Utah’s historic road win at USC (Oct. 9).
  • Produced a career- and team-best 10 tackles, to go with a pass breakup.  7 of Latu’s tackles came in the 1st half, including 5 in the 1st quarter of the game.  It’s the 2nd straight game that a Utah freshman had double-digit tackles.
  • The win was Utah’s first road triumph over the Trojans since 1916 and first-ever in the LA Coliseum (opened 1923).
  • 2nd time a Utah player has won this award this season with Karene Reid winning it in Week 4.

Also nominated for freshman:  Benjamin Yurosek, TE, Stanford; Elijhah Badger, WR, Arizona State; Semisi Saluni, LB, Oregon 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
Oct. 4 Jayden Daniels, ASU Avery Roberts, OSU Parker Lewis, USC LaDarius Henderson, ASU Brennan Jackson, WSU Tanner McKee, STAN
Oct. 11 Cameron Rising, UTAH George Hicks III, WSU Nicholas Barr-Mira, UCLA Liam Ryan, WSU Tyler Johnson, ASU Kamo’i Latu, UTAH

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