Huskies Insider Blog

Shaq Thompson wins Pac-12 defensive player of the week

Saw this one coming, of course, but the Pac-12 announced its weekly award winners a few minutes ago, and Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson is the conference's defensive player of the week.

Thompson, a junior, scored two defensive touchdowns in UW's 44-19 win over Illinois -- one via interception, and one on a fumble recovery -- becoming the first Huskies player to do that since at least 1978, and likely the first, period.

Thompson was also named the national defensive player of the week by Athlon and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel won Pac-12 offensive player of the week, and UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams is the special-teams player of the week.

Here's the release from the Pac-12:

SAN FRANCISCO - Quarterback Jerry Neuheisel of UCLA, linebacker Shaq Thompson of WASHINGTON and defensive back Ishmael Adams of UCLA have been named offensive, defensive and special teams Pac-12 Players of the Week in football.

Neuheisel, a sophomore from Los Angeles, came off the bench after a first-quarter injury to starting quarterback Brett Hundley, and helped lead the Bruins to a 20-17 win over Texas in a game played in Arlington, Texas. Neuheisel threw for two touchdowns and directed three scoring drives in the second half to rally the Bruins from a 10-3 halftime deficit. The second of Neuheisel’s scoring passes was the game-winner, a 33-yard toss to Jordan Payton with 3:00 remaining in the contest and put the Bruins up 20-17. Neuheisel’s first touchdown pass of his career, a three-yarder to Nate Iese, came on the initial drive of the second half and evened the score at 10-all. He also led the Bruins on a 16-play, 71-yard field goal drive which had put UCLA up 13-10 early in the fourth quarter. For the game, Neuheisel completed 23-of-30 passes for 178 yards, two scores and no interceptions.

Thompson, a junior from Sacramento, Calif., scored two defensive touchdowns in Washington's 44-19 win over Illinois. In the first quarter, he intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to give Washington a 21-3 lead. It was the first interception of the season by a UW player. In the second quarter, he scooped up a fumble and ran it 52 yards for another score, making it a 35-5 game. He also had four tackles in the game while rushing for 16 yards on three carries as a running back.

Adams, a junior from Woodland Hills, Calif., returned a late fourth quarter punt 45 yards to the Texas 33-yard line to help set up the game-winning touchdown in UCLA’s 20-17 win over the Longhorns in Arlington, Texas. On the first play from scrimmage following Adams’ return, Jerry Neuheisel hit Jordan Payton with a 33-yard scoring pass to put the Bruins up 20-17 with 3:00minutes to play in the contest. Adams, who also had three tackles in the game, returned three punts for 62 yards and one kickoff for 14 yards.

Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Nick Wilson, RB, ARIZ; D.J. Foster, RB, ASU; Byron Marshall, RB, ORE; Devon Cajuste, WR, STAN; Isiah Myers, WR, WSU

Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Scooby Wright, LB, ARIZ; Jordan Simone, LB, ASU; Erick Dargan, S ORE; Blake Martinez, LB, STAN; Eddie Vanderdoes, DL, UCLA; Cyrus Coen, LB, WSU