USC quarterback Cody Kessler earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors from the conference for his outstanding performance against Fresno State Saturday.
The redshirt junior quarterback set a career high with 394 yards and tied his career high of four touchdowns, which he achieved in that last season against the same Bulldogs in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. He added a rushing touchdown to his totals.
The Trojans won the opener, 52-13, with Kessler at the helm of Steve Sarkisian’s new HUNH (Hurry-Up, No-Huddle) offense. The quarterback thrived in the system, utilizing ten different receivers including young talents like JuJu Smith and Adoree’ Jackson.
Kessler’s pocket presence was particularly excellent as he avoided pressure from the Bulldog pass rush and did not give the defense the satisfaction of a sack at any point in the game.
With one of the better quarterback ratings in the Pac-12 last season, especially in the second half of 2013, Kessler’s performance laid down a marker for the new year.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams was also nominated for the Pac-12 Player of the Week award on defense but the All-American lost out to UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks, who totaled 16 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception which he returned for a touchdown in the Bruins’ 28-20 victory over Virginia.
Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay was named the special teams Player of the Week by the Pac-12. He returned a punt and a kick off for touchdowns in the Utes’ 56-14 win over Idaho State.