Story courtesy of the Pac-12 Conference
Associated Press Photo
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Quarterback Cody Vaz of Oregon State, defensive back Steve Williams of Cal and wide receiver/kick returner Rashad Ross of Arizona State have been named Pac-12 Players of the Week in football.
Vaz, a junior from Lodi, Calif., completed 20 of 32 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-24 road win over BYU. Vaz, in his first collegiate start-- and his first game action since 2010--posted a 180.59 passer rating and averaged 16.6 yards per completion against a team that ranked fifth in the nation in total defense. He is the first quarterback to throw for 300 yards against BYU since the Beavers put up 306 yards in Corvallis last season, and his passing total is the highest for a first-game OSU starter since 2005. Vaz earned a Manning Award Star of the Week honor following Saturday’s performance. He is the second OSU quarterback to be named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week this season (Sean Mannion, Oct. 1), marking the second time in three years that two quarterbacks from the same school have earned the award in the same season. Arizona’s Nick Foles and Matt Scott both earned the award in 2010.
Williams, a junior from Dallas, Texas, recorded his team-high-tying third interception of the season in Cal’s end zone and notched a career-high four pass breakups in a 31-17 victory over Washington State. He added a team-high six tackles and held Washington State WR Marquess Wilson to four receptions. Williams, whose 6.6 tackles per game average rank second on the team, leads the Bears and ranks sixth in the Conference in passes defended (1.43 per game). His four pass breakups represent a team single-game high this season.
With Arizona State holding a 20-17 halftime lead, Ross, a senior from Vallejo, Calif., returned the opening kickoff of the second half 100 yards for a touchdown in a 51-17 win at Colorado. Ross’ second career touchdown set the tone for a second half in which the Sun Devils scored 31 unanswered points to put the game away. Ross became just the fifth player in school history to record a 100-yard kickoff return. He also caught two passes for 23 yards.
Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were quarterback Taylor Kelly of Arizona State, running back Silas Redd of USC, wide receiver Keenan Allen of Cal and tight end Nick Kasa of Colorado. Also nominated on defense were defensive backs Ryan Murphy of Oregon State and Jawanza Starling of USC and linebacker Brandon Magee of Arizona State. Also nominated on special teams were punters Keith Kostol of Oregon State and Sean Sellwood of Utah and defensive back Anthony Brown of USC.