Sept. 5, 2006
Quarterback Ben Olson of UCLA, linebacker Keith Rivers of USC and kicker Nick Folk of Arizona have been named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Football Players of the Week.
Olson, a sophomore from Thousand Oaks, Calif., made a spectacular debut as UCLA's starting quarterback in the Bruin's 31-10 win against Utah. Olson completed 25 of 33 passes (.758) for 318 yards and three touchdowns covering 16, 19 and nine yards, with no interceptions. It is the most passing yards by a UCLA quarterback making his first start since Tommy Maddox in 1990. Under Olson's guidance, the Bruin offense played a turnover-free game.
Rivers, a junior from Lake Mary, Fla., spearheaded the USC defensive effort in the Trojan's 50-14 win at Arkansas. Rivers had a team-high eight tackles, five solo, forced one fumble and recovered another that set up a USC score. The Trojan defense forced five turnovers and limited Arkansas to 2-of-20 on third-down conversion attempts.
Folk, a senior from Sherman Oaks, Calif., had a spectacular game in Arizona's 16-13 win against BYU. He connected on a career-high three-of-four field goal attempts, including kicking the game-winning field goal from 48 yards with one second remaining in the game. He also was good from 30 and 22 yards in accounting for 10 of the Wildcats' 16 points. In addition to the field goals, Folk averaged 56.0 yards on four punts and had three touchbacks on five kickoffs.
Others nominated for offensive player of the week honors were quarterbacks Isaiah Stanback of Washington and Rudy Carpenter of Arizona State, running backs Jonathan Stewart of Oregon, Yvenson Bernard of Oregon State and DeMaundray Woolridge of Washington State and receiver Syndric Steptoe of Arizona. Also nominated on defense were linemen Jeremy Gibbs of Oregon and Greyson Gunheim of Washington, cornerback Alterraun Verner of UCLA and linebackers Derron Ware of Arizona State, Spencer Larsen of Arizona and Scott Davis of Washington State. Linebacker Jon Pope of Oregon, punters Sean Douglas of Washington, Jonathan Johnson of Arizona State, Aaron Perez of UCLA and Darryl Blunt of Washington State, kicker Mario Danelo of USC and punt returner Sammie Stroughter of Oregon State were nominated for special teams play.