Even though the Pac-12 Championship Game didn’t go as planned, the Utes still had a great season, and the players and staff are now being recognized. Today the Pac-12 announced their all-conference teams and post season awards. No surprise as the 11 win Utes cleaned up.
The Utes landed eight players on the teams, all listed below, and also picked up Coach of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, both a first for the Utes. Coach Whittingham picked up his first Coach of the Year in the Pac-12. I was wondering if Jonathan Smith may win it, and perhaps this award may elude Whitt like the CoY award eluded Jerry Sloan in the NBA.
Congrats to the 2019 #Pac12FB All-Conference award-winners!— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) December 10, 2019
OPOY: Zack Moss, @Utah_Football
DPOY: Evan Weaver, @CalFootball
COY: Kyle Whittingham, @Utah_Football
Read here: https://t.co/2fRUZwwkCB#BackThePac pic.twitter.com/PzkV6B7wKV
Zack Moss picked up the Offensive Player of the Year Award. Moss broke almost every record for a Utah running back, and even though he missed a game and a half, he was a dominant running back. Moss was also named to the First-Team All-Conference team. I’d say the big surprise, but also not a surprise (at least for Utah fans), if that makes any sense, is the fact that Tyler Huntley was named First-Team QB in the Pac-12. Justin Herbert, the golden boy from Oregon, was honorable mention. Tyler was incredible this year, and really earned that from his performance this season, and not from performances of seasons past.
Of course, the All-Defensive team was loaded with Utes.
I’m hoping we see these guys suit up one more time before they go to the NFL, although, I expect some won’t, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Quick Hits On Utah’s First and Second-Team All-Pac-12 Selections
#1 Tyler Huntley, QB, Sr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Offense
Ranks sixth in ESPN’s Total QBR (84.0) … ranks in the top-10 in the FBS in completion percentage (No. 2, .737), passing efficiency (No. 5, 181.9), passing yards per completion (No. 8, 14.47) and yards per pass attempt (No. 4, 10.67) … nine 200-yard passing games this season that included two in the 300-yard range … 205-of-278 passing (4 INT, 18 TDs) for 2,966 passing yards, adding 88 carries for 257 rushing yards (5 TD) … two-time Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.
#2 Zack Moss, RB, Sr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Offense
Ranks first in the Pac-12 and 12th in the FBS in rushing yards (1,359), rushing yards per game (113.3) and rushing touchdowns (15) … No. 14 in the FBS and first in the Pac-12 in total touchdowns (17) … 219 carries this season for 1,359 yards (6.2 ypc) and 15 touchdowns, adding 26 receptions for 374 yards (2 TD) … eight games with 100 or more rushing yards, including one 200-yard game … 91-yard rushing touchdown against Oregon State is the third-longest rushing touchdown in school history.
#77 Darrin Paulo, OL, Sr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Offense
Started all 13 games this season … has played in 52 career games, which ranks second on the team, and has played in 40 games on the offensive line with 39 career starts … helped the Utes to a No. 1 ranking in the Pac-12 in rushing offense (207.0) and a No. 3 ranking in scoring per game (34.0).
#6 Bradlee Anae, DE, Sr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Defense
Two-time All-Pac-12 first-team selection … 2019 Morris Trophy winner … 35 total tackles (13.5 TFL, 12.5 Sacks) with one pass defended and a forced fumble … 12.5 sacks is tied for eight in the FBS and second in the Pac-12 … had at least one sack in seven games, tying his single-game career-high of 3.0 against Northern Illinois and Arizona State … 29.5 career sacks is tied for the school record and ranks fourth among active FBS players … two-time Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week, also earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
#99 Leki Fotu, DT, Sr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Defense
Two-time All-Pac-12 first-team selection … 27 tackles (8.5 TFL, 1.0 Sack) … finished third on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss … tackle for loss of 50 yards ranks second on the team … anchored the defensive line that kept 10 of its opponents to under 70 yards rushing this season … helped Utah to a No. 1 ranking in the FBS and the Pac-12 in rushing defense (70.3).
#13 Francis Bernard, LB, Sr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Defense
Finished second on the team in tackles with 83 (7.5 TFL), adding two interceptions that included a pick-six, one pass breakup and a forced fumble … averaged 6.4 tackles per game … three-double-digit tackles games, including reaching his season-high 12 twice (Northern Illinois, Washington State) … his pick-six against Utah was one of Utah’s five defensive touchdowns this season which is tied for second in the FBS and ranks first in the Pac-12 … two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
#23 Julian Blackmon, FS, Sr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Defense
Three-time All-Pac-12 selection, also earning second-team cornerback in 2017 and 2018 … fourth on the team in total tackles with 60 (4.0 TFL, 1.5 Sacks), adding a team-high four interceptions that includes one pick-six, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles … his four interceptions is tied for the Pac-12 lead … earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for his career-high 12 tackles that included 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception against UCLA.
#1 Jaylon Johnson, CB, Jr. | First-Team All-Pac-12 Defense
Two-time All-Pac-12 first-team cornerback … 36 total tackles (1.0 TFL) with two interceptions that included one pick-six, adding 11 pass breakups … 11 pass breakups ranks fourth in the Pac-12 … has one or more pass breakups in nine of Utah’s 13 games … his pick-six for 39 yards against Washington was his second-career pick-six … his two interceptions helped Utah to a No. 2 ranking in the Pac-12 in total passes intercepted (13).
#80 Brant Kuithe, TE, So. | Second-Team All-Pac-12 Offense
Leads the team in receptions (31), receiving yards (572), receiving touchdowns (6) and is second in total touchdowns (9) … his 18.45 yards per reception leads all tight ends in the FBS and Pac-12 in yards per reception, ranking 29th overall in the FBS and third in the Pac-12 … six receiving touchdowns is tied for first in the Pac-12 among tight ends … career-high 132 receiving yards on five catches and a touchdown against UCLA … earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for his two rushes for 59 yards and a 15-yard rushing touchdown and three catches and two receiving touchdowns against Colorado.
#52 John Penisini, DT, Sr. | Second-Team All-Pac-12 Defense
Recorded 37 tackles (6.0 TFL, 2.0 Sacks) with one pass breakup and two forced fumbles … his 37 total tackles ranks second on the defensive line … had seven games with half a tackle for loss or more … his two forced fumbles is the second-most by a Pac-12 player this year … earned Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week for his career-high tying seven tackles with a sack and a forced fumble against Washington.