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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

November 3, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Mariota, Wright and Gonzalez win honors; not so on my ballot

The Pac-12 today awarded its offense, defense and special-teams players-of-the-week honors to Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Arizona’s Scooby Wright and Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez.

With media voting for the awards, I split ranks and opted for Cal’s Daniel Lasco, Wright and USC’s Nelson Agholor.

Mariota threw for 258 yards and rushed for 85 against Stanford, and more than the numbers, he helped the Ducks get over their “Stanford problem” as they thrashed the Cardinal, 45-16. Stanford had won the past two matchups with the Ducks, so Mariota is indeed a worthy choice. I went with Lasco because of his 30-carry, 188-yard rushing effort against Oregon State, which (heretofore at least) I thought to be a good defense.

Tough to name anybody but Wright these days on defense, whether the Wildcats win or lose. Against UCLA, he had three sacks for the second straight week and 4.5 tackles for loss.

Gonzalez won on the strength of his four field goals, including a winning 36-yarder in overtime against Utah. I felt Agholor was a better choice, not that returning a punt 65 yards against Washington State’s leaky coverage teams is a surpassing accomplishment. But he has taken four punts to the house in his USC career — a school record — and I thought that an achievement worth celebrating.

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