Quarterback Cody Kessler and kicker Andre Heidari were named the Pac-12’s offensive and special teams players of the week for their performances in USC’s 20-17 upset victory over Stanford on Saturday.
Heidari’s 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining gave the Trojans the lead and the victory. That kick was made all the more intriguing by an extra point that Heidari missed on USC’s first touchdown of the evening.
Kessler had one of his best games as a Trojan, going 25-37 for 288 yards and the opening touchdown to fullback Soma Vainuku. He also hit Marqise Lee for a two-point conversion on USC’s second touchdown. It was his presence in the pocket, ability to avoid the Stanford pass rush, and throw on the run that set him apart.
USC safety Dion Bailey was also nominated for defensive player of the week. He finished with six tackles, a forced fumble, a tackle for loss and a key fourth-quarter interception which prevented a Stanford field goal. Arizona State’s corner back Robert Nelson ultimately beat him out.
Kessler and Heidari are the fourth and fifth USC players to be honored by the Pac-12 this season. Punter Kris Albarado, cornerback Josh Shaw, and punt returner Nelson Agholor have also received Player of the Week honors.