"Looks fine to me" -- Pac-12 refs
You've probably noticed that my fellow authors have begun to roll out weekly features as football season gets into the swing of things. While I know most of you have tried to move on from the 30-6 shellacking the Washington State Cougars took in Provo last Thursday, it's my duty to single out players on an individual basis. This time it's to praise them, though! For realsies!
I'll make sure to focus on three players each week: one on offense, defense, and special teams. I realize the special teams player of the week is pretty much a contest between like, 3 people, but hey, kickers and punters need love too. After the jump, we'll look at the players I've chosen for this week. If you agree with me, great! You're smart and probaly handsome, too. If you disagree, well, fine, whatever. You're not invited to my birthday party.
If it would make you feel better about having to read something I write, I'll allow everyone to pick their own three players in the comment section.
Marquess Wilson -- 4 catches, 61 yards, "0" TDs, 8.71 YPT
Wilson made one of the best catches I've ever seen, but because the Pac-12 referees are related to Blinkin, the play was called back due to a holding penalty. He also had another huge catch negated by a holding penalty. Regardless of his final numbers, or his slumping shoulders/pouting, Wilson was still the team's leading receiver. His yards per target was pretty pedestrian, but he'll make up for it with some ridiculous game where he's at like 15 YPT. And seriously, that catch. My god that catch. If it counted, we might as well have shut down the voting at the ESPYs for Play of the Year. The only other catch I can think of that tops it is Tyrone Protho's catch from a few years back, which is probably the best catch I've ever seen. I have a feeling you'll be seeing Wilson's name in this spot a lot this year.
Travis Long -- 9 tackles, 5 solo, 2.5 TFL, 2 sacks
Long was second on the team in tackles (Deone Bucannon led the way with 12), and he registered both of the team's two total sacks. Long looks good in his new role as Buck, as he was able to just get after the QB. Long may not be the fastest guy on the field, but he has a motor that doesn't quit. I also considered recognizing true freshman Taylor Taliulu. Taliulu looked great for a guy playing in his first ever collegiate game, in a tough road environment to boot. Ultimately, though, Long's two sacks gave him the edge over the youngster.
Andrew Furney -- 2/2 FGs, L47
Not much to choose from here. Truth be told, I almost didn't include a Special Teams section, but I figured these guys deserved some praise, too. Furney kicked a long FG -- 47 yards -- and accounted for the only points we put on the board. I gave some thought to giving the award to Teondray Caldwell after his 63-yard kick return, but since we didn't even score, it probably wasn't enough to give him the nod over The Duchess.
I'm thinking of naming the awards, and I will also take your suggestions for those in the comments. I'm thinking the Kyle Basler Special Teams POTW, the Will Derting Defensive POTW, and the Marquess Wilson Offensive POTW awards. I have reservations about using a current player, but he's so good that I really don't care.
Predictions for next week:
Offense -- Jeff Tuel
Defense -- Chester Su'a
Special Teams -- Andrew Furney