Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Pac-12 superlative tracker
By Ted Miller
A we head into Pac-12 play, we're tracking the offensive, defensive and coach of the year races in the Pac-12.
For a more thorough look at offense, re-read our Heisman Trophy update.
Offensive player of the year
1. De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon: He's rushed for 228 yards and averaged a stout 17.5 yards per run with four touchdowns. He's caught 11 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns. He's 25th in the nation in punt returns with a 13.29 yard average. His 14 points per game is tied for fifth in the nation. He's also 17th in the nation in all-purpose yards. And when he gets the ball everyone holds their breath.
2. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: He leads the nation with 180.33 yards rushing per game. He also leads the nation in all-purpose yards (222.33). He's averaging 8.2 yards per rush with three TDs. He also has eight receptions for 121 yards (15.1 yards per reception) with a touchdown.
3. Matt Barkley, QB, USC: His stock fell with a poor performance in a loss to Stanford. Still, he's got nine regular season games to get back in the race. His 10 TD passes still lead the conference, but he's fifth in the conference in passing efficiency.
Keep an eye on: Arizona QB Matt Scott; Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor; UCLA QB Brett Hundley;USC WR Marqise Lee; Oregon RB Kenjon Barner.
Defensive player of the year
1. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: He has 13 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. Led the Utes with six solo stops and that critical blocked FG against BYU.
2. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford: He's got 16 tackles, four tackles for a loss and a sack.
3. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA: He leads the conference with eight tackles for a loss. He also has two sacks and 13 total tackles with a forced fumble.
Keep an eye on: T.J. McDonald, S, USC; Chris Young, LB, Arizona State; ; D.J. Welch, Oregon State; Travis Long, OLB, Washington State
Coach of the year
1. Chip Kelly, Oregon: The Ducks are now the conference's top national title contender.
2. David Shaw, Stanford: Or are they? Shaw's star is on the rise with after a brilliant plan stymied USC.
3. Mike Riley, Oregon State: Win at UCLA on Saturday and it will be fair to say the Beavers are back.
4. Jim Mora, UCLA: Beat the Beavers, get a 4-0 start, and folks around Westwood will start believing. With justification.
5. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona: Upset the Ducks, and folks in Tucson will stop thinking about basketball season. At least for a moment.
Keep an eye on: Todd Graham, Arizona State; Lane Kiffin, USC.