Pac-12 football players of the week came down Monday morning, and they went to Buck Allen, the USC running back who had a career-high 205 yards rushing at Arizona; Washington’s Shaq Thompson, who had the 100-yard return with a fumble for the Huskies against Cal; and Stanford’s Ty Montgomery, who had a nice, but not overwhelming game against Washington State.
There were some tough calls. I went with Marcus Mariota of Oregon as the offensive player, for leading an offense that hummed throughout against UCLA, in the most meaningful game Saturday. And I was inclined to vote for the UW’s Hau’oli Kikaha for his three sacks of Cal’s Jared Goff, but Kikaha wasn’t nominated, which led me to USC’s Leonard Williams, who had a big game at Arizona.
Indeed, Thompson is having a phenomenal season, and if two things were to happen, he could even be a darkhorse Heisman candidate: One, the Huskies would have to keep winning, probably on the order of a 10-2 season. And two, it would obviously help if he got more run on offense, because Heisman voters aren’t inclined to vote for defensive players. But throw in Thompson’s uncanny knack for defensive touchdowns, and potentially some Myles Jack-2013 contributions on offense, and he could be a factor.
One more thing about the awards this week: UCLA nominated running back Paul Perkins and linebacker Eric Kendricks, which I have to say, I find odd. Not every team nominates players each week, and surely after the beatdown Oregon administered, I would think UCLA would be repairing to a practice field, not jumping up to nominate players.
Perkins had 190 yards on 22 carries — 113 in the second half, by which time the game was decided. Kendricks had 10 tackles.