2019 PAC-12 Awards



Offensive Player of the Year: RB ZACK MOSS, UTAH

Photo: Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Utah running back Zack Moss was named the PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year. Moss led the Utes in rushing with 1,416 yards, 15 touchdowns, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. He also had 28 receptions for 388 yards and two scores through the air.

On Nov. 23, Moss broke loose for 203 yards on 26 carries versus Arizona.


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Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: ILB EVAN WEAVER, CALIFORNIA

Weaver led the nation in tackles last fall and earned consensus All-America honors as well as Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. 

Weaver led the country with 181 tackles in 13 starts (that includes a whopping 103 solo efforts — 20 more than the second-place finisher in solo tackles, Colorado’s Nate Landman). Ten of those tackles were for losses, including 2.5 sacks; Weaver also broke up three passes and forced two fumbles for the Golden Bears.


Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: QB KEDON SLOVIS, USC

USC’s Kedon Slovis set quite a few records, while on his way to being named the PAC-12 Freshman of the Year. His 71.9 completion percentage is a USC single season best. It’s also the best in Pac-12 single-season history (with a minimum of 300 attempts) which was previously set by Stanford’s Andrew Luck in 2011.

Slovis also set USC’s single-season records for passing efficiency (167.6); and for most consecutive 300-yard passing games (three).


Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: DE KAYVON THIBODEAUX, OREGON

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux earned Pac-12 Football Freshman Defensive Player of the Year honors after his dynamic first season with the Ducks. Thibodeaux broke the Oregon freshman record with 9 sacks, which was also good for second among all FBS freshmen this season.

Thibodeaux racked up an impressive 14 tackles-for-loss, the second most in the PAC-12. He showed his growth and development in the PAC-12 Football Championship Game, notching 2.5 sacks and the first ever blocked punt in PAC-12 Championship game history, as the Ducks upset Utah 37-15.



Utah’s Kyle Whittingham earned PAC-12 Coach of the Year honors after leading Utah to a sterling 11-2 season and an appearance in the Alamo Bowl. The Utes narrowly missed a berth in the College Football Playoff and spent most of the season ranked as a top-10 team.

In 2019, the Utes featured a punishing defense which finished top of the Pac-12 in points per game allowed (13.2), yards per game allowed (256.2), and yards per play allowed (4.4).

Whittingham becomes the first Utah coach to win a PAC-12 Coach of the Year award since the Utes joined the PAC-12 Conference. He had previously won Mountain West Coach of the Year when Utah went 13-0 in 2008.


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2018 PAC-12 Awards



Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington

Burr-Kirven (25), tough and smart, the linebacker has a 3.69 gpa.
Photo: Dean Rutz|The Seattle Times

Burr-Kirven, a senior from Menlo Park, Calif., anchored the Husky defense that led the Pac-12 and was 12th in the nation in total defense (301.8 yards allowed per game), led the Pac-12 in pass defense (185.4 yards allowed per game), and second in rush defense (116.4 yards allowed per game). He led the Pac-12 with 165 tackles and his 12.7 tackles per game ranked third-best in the FBS. Burr-Kirven is the first Pac-12 player to earn both Conference Player of the Year and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.


Offensive Player of the Year: Gardner Minshew II, Washington State

Minshew is the PAC-12 single season passing leader in yards and completions.
Photo: Young Kwak|The Associated Press

Minshew, from Brandon, Miss., not only led the Pac-12 in passing, but the FBS as well, averaging 373.1 yards per game. Heading into the Alamo Bowl, Minshew, a fifth-year graduate transfer from East Carolina, needed just 238 yards to break Jared Goff’s Pac-12 single-season record of 4,719 yards set in 2015. Against Iowa State, the record-breaker came on a 20-yard toss to Tay Martin in the fourth quarter of WSU’s 28-26 win over the Cyclones.

In the regular season, he completed 433 of 613 pass attempts for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns, with just nine interceptions. He threw for 300 or more yards in 11 games, including a season-best 473 yards in Washington State’s 69-28 win over Arizona, where he tied a Pac-12 record with seven touchdown passes in regulation play.

NOTEWORTHY DRAFTABLES: Bryce Love won the award in 2017; Jake Browning took home the award in 2016.


Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State

Oregon State knew they had something special in Jermar Jefferson.
Image: Oregon State Athletics

Jefferson, a freshman from Harbor City, Calif., topped all FBS freshmen in rushing with 1,380 yards (5.8 yards/carry) and an average of 115.0 yards per game (7th overall in the FBS). His 12 rushing touchdowns were tied for second most in the Pac-12. Jefferson’s 1,380 rushing yards set an Oregon State true freshman rushing record and is the sixth-best single-season total. He twice rushed for 200 or more yards in a game, including a Pac-12 freshman single-game record 254 yards vs. Arizona State.

Honorable Mention Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon; Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC; Max Borghi, RB, Washington State.


Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Merlin Robertson, Arizona State

Robertson played more snaps than any true freshman in the Pac-12 (749).
Photo: @_Merlin_2/Twitter

Robertson, a freshman from Gardena, Calif., ranked 20th in the Pac-12 with 6.4 tackles per game, while his team-leading 77 total tackles led all Pac-12 freshmen. Named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after he tallied nine tackles and 1.5 sacks in a 16-13 win over Michigan State. Posted a season-best 11 tackles at Washington. In all, Robertson had 77 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and an interception. Robertson’s play kept the Sun Devils in every game as their five losses were by seven or fewer points.

Honorable Mention Freshman Defensive Player of the YearPaulson Adebo, DB, Stanford; Jay Tufele, DL, USC.


Coach of the Year: Washington State’s Mike Leach

Washington State University head football coach Mike Leach.
Photo: Dean Lutz|Seattle Times

Leach guided his Cougars to their sixth 10-win season, and first since 2003. Washington State won seven straight Pac-12 games and finished tied atop the Pac-12 North Division standings with a 7-2 league record and 10-2 overall.

Under Leach, the Cougars climbed to No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings where they sat for four weeks (Oct. 30 – Nov. 20). The Cougars led the Pac-12 in scoring (38.3 ppg), total offense (461.8 ypg) and passing offense (379.8 ypg). It’s the second time Leach has earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors (Co-Coach with Stanford’s David Shaw in 2015).