In a surprise to precisely no one, Hercules Mata’afa has been named the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Week. Kicker Erik Powell also earned the Special Teams Player of the Week award for his four field goal effort against the Utah Utes.
Two Cougs have earned @pac12 player of the week honors after the win over Utah!— WSU Cougar Football (@wsucougfb) November 13, 2017
Hercules earns his 1st career award after making 8 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
Powell earns 3rd honor of the season with 4 FG (44, 32, 28, 33) and 15 pts#GoCougs pic.twitter.com/8qdytb4lTk
Hard to believe it but those stats Mata’afa put up, which are insane, aren’t truly reflective of just how disruptive he was for 60 minutes on Saturday. Near constant double and even triple teams, along with offensive lineman all but lassoing him to keep him in front of the line of scrimmage opened things up everywhere else.
A much deserved award for a guy who could stand to make himself a lot of money in the NFL Draft after this season.
For the third time this year, Erik Powell has taken home the Special Teams Player of the Week award. Remember last year when Powell was oh-for on his first six or so kicks? What an incredible turnaround for him. The only miss came on an attempt with a mishandled snap so chalking that up to Powell seems a touch unfair. So far this season, Powell has missed just three attempts, including one that was blocked. He has also made three of his four attempts over 50 yards, including one from 56.
Congrats to Mata’afa and Powell!