The Pac-12 was welcomed back with open arms from those in the national media and despite some cancellations that saw Utah vs Arizona and Cal vs Washington canned, we were still treated to some amazing matchups and dominant performances.
Here are your top players at each position in our Week 1 Pac-12 Team of the Week:
Sam Noyer, Colorado Buffaloes
Sure, Noyer didn’t throw for more yards than everyone, he didn’t even throw for the most touchdowns. All he did was complete 20-of-32 passes for 257 yards and a score. He averaged 8.0 yards per attempt and was seemingly perfect with his throws. He completed his first seven pass attempts and only had his first incompletion on a dropped ball on pass attempt number eight.
What makes his performance so special, especially his first pass attempts, is the fact that this was his first game action at quarterback since the 2018 season and his first start at the position after transitioning to safety last season under former head coach Mel Tucker.
Noyer did enough in the first half alone to defeat UCLA and was hardly needed to throw the ball down the stretch in an impressive season-opening performance.
Second-Team QB: Kedon Slovis, USC Trojans
Jarek Broussard, Colorado Buffaloes
Broussard was a gut-punch to the UCLA defense on Saturday, rushing 31 times for 187 yards and three scores. He churned out yards after contact at will and was a first-down machine as well. He had multiple gaines of at least 10 yards and was dominant against the Bruins in the first half specifically.
Second-Team RB: Deon McIntosh, Washington State Cougars
Austin Jones, Stanford Cardinal
Without Jones, the Cardinal would have essentially been shut out. Without their starting quarterback and starting wide receiver, Jones was crucial to Stanford’s offense, running for 100 yards on 20 carries and two scores, Stanford’s only two scores of the game. He churned out yards after contact and made people miss in a grinding effort when the Ducks knew he was their top target to stop.
Second-Team RB: Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State Beavers
Drake London, USC Trojans
London was the breakout performer from a wide receiving corps that could rival any in the country this season. He was incredible after the catch in this one against Arizona State, including a hurdle, a contested catch, a broken tackle or two and the game-winning touchdown over the middle of the field. In total, he secured seven catches for 105 yards and a score.
Second-Team WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC Trojans
Travell Harris, Washington State Cougars
Harris led all receivers in the conference with his 107-yard, 2-touchdown performance for Washington State as he’s slid into the top receiving spot with ease. He’s developed a great rapport with new, true freshman quarterback Jayden de Laura and caught 7-of-8 targets his way for 15.3 yards per catch.
Second-Team WR: Trevon Bradford, Oregon State Beavers
Simi Fehoko, Stanford Cardinal
Fehoko had two dramatic receptions against Oregon and could be a viable top target for the Cardinal once they get Mills back in the lineup. Both of those receptions were deep downfield that saw him breakaway from the talented Ducks secondary with sharp routes and blazing speed. He also was open on a double-move late in the game but was overthrown by at least a few yards when he had at least two yards of separation on the defender. He finished with three catches for 88 yards.
Second-Team WR: Renard Bell, Washington State Cougars
Brady Russell, Colorado Buffaloes
Russell was a dependable receiver (save for one drop) for Noyer over the middle of the field, hauling in five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Three of his receptions moved the chains for a first down and he also chipped in with some plus-run blocking and plus-pass blocking on the evening.
Second-Team Flex: Mike Martinez, UCLA Bruins
Greg Dulcich, UCLA Bruins
It was Dulcich who represented the big-play threat for the Bruins in this one, not potential first-team back Demetric Felton. Dulcich broke free in a coverage lapse against the Bruins late in the second quarter, scampering 52 yards for a touchdown that brought the game back to a three-score game before the break. In total, Dulcich led all Pac-12 pass-catchers with 126 yards on four catches with that score and three other first downs.
Second-Team TE: DJ Johnson, Oregon Ducks
Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC Trojans
You didn’t have to wait long in the broadcast to hear why NFL draft scouts are so high on Vera-Tucker. You also didn’t have to wait long to hear just how dominant he can be after Vera-Tucker was sharp in his pass sets from the onset of this game. He also did his part with moving to the second level with ease and his return to the team after opting out earlier this offseason cannot be understated.
Second-Team LT: William Sherman, Colorado Buffaloes
Andrew Vorhees, USC Trojans
Vorhees and Vera-Tucker proved to be too much and kept Slovis’ blindside clean from pressure on all but a couple dropbacks. That’s impressive enough, considering how many times Slovis dropped back to pass.
Second-Team LG: Kary Kutsch, Colorado Buffaloes
Brian Greene, Washington State Cougars
There were some impressive plays from multiple centers but Greene gets the nod as he logged his first start and kept his quarterback pressure-free in this one. He also had some great movement to the second level and looks the part of the big man in the middle for Nick Rolovich’s offense.
Second-Team C: Brett Neilon, USC Trojans
Ryan Walk, Oregon Ducks
After his first start, Walk may be the next great Duck lineman if he keeps up this level of prowess. Walk actually moved across the line for the Ducks but played the majority of his snaps at right guard and was dominant in doing so. He’s already whipped together some highlight-reel plays and perhaps his biggest impact saw when he wasn’t in at right guard and Stanford’s Thomas Booker beat his replacement with ease on a sack.
Second-Team RG: Nous Keobounnam, Oregon State Beavers
Abraham Lucas, Washington State Cougars
One of the best right tackles in college football was right back at it where he left off last year and was not credited with allowing a single QB pressure on 40 dropbacks he was in for. Lucas is perhaps one of the best not only in the conference but in the country and should hear his name called early in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Second-Team RT: Jalen McKenzie, USC Trojans
Ron Stone, Washington State Cougars
Stone recorded a sack and a half for Washington State, proving to be unblockable at times. He won with ease and was also disruptive in run defense. He’s almost equaled his season totals in sacks from a year ago through one game.
Second-Team Edge: Tyler Johnson, Arizona State Sun Devils
Jermayne Lole, Arizona State Sun Devils
Lole not only tied Stone for the conference-best 1.5 sacks in Week 1, Lole’s big hits in the run game made USC push their rushing attack outside for most of the game. Lole ate up double teams on the inside and whenever he matched up on a guard, it was a mismatch for ASU.
Second-Team DI: Marlon Tuipulotu, USC
Mustafa Johnson, Colorado Buffaloes
Johnson welcomed the UCLA Bruins interior offensive line back with a vengeance as the NFL draft hopeful was dominant on the inside. Johnson had a huge sack and multiple run stuffs that kept the UCLA offense in long-yardage situations on multiple drives.
Second-Team DI: Dallas Hobbs, Washington State Cougars
Drake Jackson, USC Trojans
Jackson was terrific for USC, recording multiple pressures and multiple other wins off the edge of the line of scrimmage that saw ASU QB Jayden Daniels either already deciding to tuck it and run, or dumping a short pass off as a check down before Jackson could register a pressure. He’ll continue to be force for USC in 2020.
Second-Team Edge: Michael Matus, Arizona State Sun Devils
Levani Damuni, Stanford Cardinal
Though he was hardly on the field in this one, Damuni did more damage than any other linebacker in the conference in Week 1. Without Damuni’s interception and fumble recovery, the three-score victory for Oregon may have been even worse for the Cardinal. Damuni finished with two tackles, an interception and a fumble recovered that ultimately kept Stanford in it.
Second-Team LB: Isaac Slade-Matautia, Oregon Ducks
Merlin Robertson, Arizona State Sun Devils
Robertson made his impact felt early on with multiple stuffs on USC’s rushing attack and in their short-area coverage scheme. Without Robertson’s athleticism over the middle of the field in zone coverage, ASU may not have been able to limit Slovis to the yardage totals they did in the first three quarters. Robertson finished with a handful of tackles and an ever-important interception early on.
Second-Team LB: Caleb Johnson, UCLA Bruins
Noah Sewell, Oregon Ducks
Sewell looks every bit the part of a five-star recruit at the position and looks every bit like he’s ready to be an All-American at the linebacker position this year and for the future. Sewell made multiple highlight-reel plays including a run stuff, a QB pressure that saw him toss Stanford’s Drew Dalman with ease and was extremely sharp around the line of scrimmage.
Second-Team LB: Nate Landman, Colorado Buffaloes
Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon Ducks
It’s a good thing he’s back for the Ducks, and a good thing he’s back for viewers of the Ducks this season. It’s a terrible thing he’s back for opposing offenses, however. Lenoir was targeted three times on the evening and did not allow a catch and seemingly did not even allow a yard of separation on those throws. Combine that with the fact that he took on blockers at will, turned in outside runs and wasn’t afraid to stick his nose in on every tackle his way, and you’ve got yourself a complete cornerback performance for the ages.
Second-Team CB: Mykael Wright, Oregon Ducks
Isaiah Lewis, Colorado Buffaloes
Lewis was all over the field for the Buffs, making his name known in coverage with two pass breakups on the evening. He patrolled the middle of the field beautifully and did so with what looked like relative ease.
Second-Team S: Evan Fields, Arizona State Sun Devils
Jaydon Grant, Oregon State Beavers
Grant was sharp once again for the Beavers, limiting passes into his zones and also coming away with an interception. He was seemingly everywhere for the Beavers and gave them a fighting chance at times with his prowess in the middle.
Second-Team S: Qwuantrezz Knight, UCLA Bruins
Chris Steele, USC Trojans
Steele was extremely sharp in coverage against Arizona State, starting off Year 2 on the right foot. He held receivers catch-less in his coverage and coupled that with the fact that he was giving up multiple inches to 6-foot-7 true freshman receiver Johnny Wilson, and it makes the performance that much more spectacular.
Second-Team CB: Jaylen Watson, Arizona State Sun Devils
Jay Shaw, UCLA Bruins
Shaw was sharp in coverage, limiting receivers to very few yards after the catch, if he even allowed a catch at all. His biggest impact, however, came elsewhere on the field as he blocked a field goal attempt that gave the Bruins life and helped keep the deficit within arm’s reach at times.
Second-Team Flex: Isaiah Pola-Mao, USC Trojans
Blake Mazza, Washington State Cougars
Mazza was automatic in this one, knocking home a 34-yard field goal as well as all five extra point attempts. All told, he finished 6-for-6 on all of his attempts in Week 1.
Second-Team K: Christian Zendejas, Arizona State Sun Devils
Michael Turk, Arizona State Sun Devils
If you haven’t seen Turk punt before, you need to get out there and watch some highlights. He’s a weapon at the position if you’ve ever witnessed one and will be counted on to pin opposing offenses back at will. He averaged a whopping 51.6 yards per punt and 44.6 net yards per punt including a long of 58 against USC.
Second-Team P: Luke Akers, UCLA Bruins
Nathaniel Peat, Stanford Cardinal
Peat broke away on a long run in the game that showed his blazing speed and also showcased that with his returns, averaging a healthy 24.5 yards per kick return.
Second-Team Returner: Champ Flemings, Oregon State Beavers