We are about halfway through the Pac-12 season, so let’s handout some halfway awards.
Offensive Player - Bryce Love Jr. RB Stanford - No question here. Love has put together one of the most-impressive seasons ever by a Pac-12 player. He is on pace to break the Pac-12 single-season rushing record and go well past 2,000 yards.
Defensive Player - Hercules Mata’afa Jr. DE Washington State - A big part of why Washington State had a great first half. He was the Pac-12’s best pass rusher and was huge in the biggest win of 2017 thus far, WSU’s win over USC.
Special Teams Player - Dante Pettis Sr. R Washington - The Husky receiver has already taken three punts back for scores and tied the NCAA career record for punt return touchdowns.
Coach - Justin Wilcox Cal - This was so hard to decide on. There are no real great candidates. I will go with Wilcox because I think most people thought the Bears were the clear worst team in the Pac-12 and might only have one win at this point, but they have four and have been competitive in all their losses.
Freshman - K.J. Costello QB Stanford - They list him as a sophomore, but Costello is a redshirt freshman and has brought competition to the troubled position and looks to potentially be ready to take it to the next level.
Transfer - Darren Carrington WR Utah - It has to hurt Oregon to see what Carrington is doing at Utah. He’s one of the conference’s best receivers and a deadly weapon downfield.
Most-Improved - Khalil Tate QB Arizona - Tate competed with Brandon Dawkins at QB in 2016, but was nowhere near the nightmare running threat he has become in 2017.
Surprise - Arizona 4-2 - I thought Arizona was a dumpster fire that would have to be rebuilt by mid-season. I was wrong. The Wildcats looks like a bowl game and now the closest thing to a challenge for USC in the South.
Disappointment - Oregon State - I considered Sam Darnold, but USC is still in a decent spot. I truly thought the Beavers had turned the corner under Gary Andersen and were ready to make a bowl game this year. I was incredibly wrong. They’re one of the worst Pac-12 teams we have seen in a while and Andersen is already gone.
Team to Watch - Stanford - The Cardinal are doing it again. They’re bouncing back from an ugly patch with a deadly running back, getting more stability at quarterback and getting their offensive line to gel with a nice defense. They could get a shot at USC again in the Pac-12 Championship Game and are an ultra longshot Playoff contender.