Players of the WeekNovember 9, 2016
We had some awesome performances by our athletes this week and it started on Thursday night with Utah's DeVonte Christopher who hauled in 8 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown.
Following that up was USC against Hawaii and they have two players that deserve mentioning. Matt Barkley led the way for the Trojans on an 18-23 performance for 257 yards and 5 touchdowns. The biggest problem with Barkley last year was forcing balls into tight coverages, but he was fortunate that the one time he tried to force one in the game it was dropped by the Hawaiian linebacker. Here are the USC highlights.
Barkley's favorite target was Ronald Johnson who caught 7 balls for a meager 59 yards and three touchdowns. I thought his touchdowns of 1 and 3 yards were the result of Lane Kiffin trying to pad Matt Barkley's stats by throwing in running situations, but he was the beneficiary. His stat line normally wouldn't have him on my player of the week list, but his beautiful 89 yard punt return warrants making the list.
The MVP this week belongs to Kenjon Barner of the Oregon Ducks with his 17 carries for 149 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also caught one pass for 60 yards and another score and was on ESPN all day long with highlight reel runs which you can findhere.
I thought that Barkley would have had the best numbers of all Pac-10 QB's, but Nick Foles was even better on Friday night throwing 33 of 37 for 360 yards and 2TD's. They showed a graphic during the game that essentially showed his first ~20 passes were under fifteen yards, but he was quick with his reads and accurate in his delivery.
Another Wildcat that makes our Player of the Week list is the recipient of the Nick Foles aerial assault, Juron Criner. The 6'4" receiver caught 11 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. Criner gained quite a few YAC yards and also hauled in a beautiful one handed catch which shows up about 20 seconds into these highlights.
If you have the ComcastNet Sports Channel you might have been able to see a future Pac-12 star in Keenan Allen for the Cal Bears today. His four 4 receptions accounted for 120 yards and a 48 yard touchdown reception. Allen also had 3 carries for 38 yards with his best play coming on an end around play designed as a pass, but he quickly reversed field and cut back 20 yards for the touchdown. You can check out the Keenan Allen highlights here.
Stanford's Andrew Luck put some separation between the Luck-Locker debate when he went 17 of 23 for 360 yards and four touchdowns. This was the one game I didn't watch, but the numbers are phenomenal. Andrew Luck reminds me of Aaron Rodgers with his ability to make quick decisions, accuracy, and strength throwing the ball. He had a couple beautifully thrown deep balls in the Stanford highlights.
Bust of the Week
On the flip side of the list is the Pac-12 bust of the week which has to be Jake Locker of the Washington Huskies. This was supposed to be one of, if not the best offense in the conference. Locker was good in spurts, but his offensive line gave him very little time to get his feet set in the pocket and Sarkisian didn't do him any favors with the play-calling. His Heisman hopes are dashed as he had the opportunity to take what would have been the game winning score on three separate drives, but failed to score any points in those possessions.
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