Even in the loss to USC, there were individuals worthy of being singled out for praise. Although, as expected, I have some issues with some of the ‘winners'.
Offensive MVP: QB Nick Foles- Foles was much improved from his sub-standard performance against Stanford, and appears to be good to go for Oregon. He was accurate as usual, and made some difficult throws.
I would have liked to have seen some more consistency, and less favoring of his roommate. It may just be me, but I'm seeing him ignore open receivers to get the ball to WR David Douglas. This was particularly frustrating when, on a 3rd down, he threw the ball to Douglas, who wasn't even close to first down territory, while he had an open receiver past the first down line. Again, maybe I'm seeing things, but I've been noticing how he has favored Douglas all season. Is it a coincidence that Douglas caught a grand total of zero passes from Matt Scott in his 2 game stint as starting QB?
Defensive MVP: D'Aundre Reed- The ‘other' DE had a great night, almost. It certainly would have been better if the ‘Cats had won the game. Regardless, D'Aundre recorded 5 solo tackles, and made me a little sad that he won't be around next season to help out. (He'll be graduating, along with fellow DE's Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore.)
Special Teams MVP: N/A- I'll be brief here, as I don't want to pile on too much. K Alex Zendejas is at the point where I would seriously doubt he will be the starting kicker next season. He is not consistent, and that is the worst possible thing you can say about a kicker. Travis Cobb, stop running backwards on your returns. It doesn't work. Stop. It. Now.
Freshman MVP: DT Justin Washington- Washington continues to be a refreshing surprise. He recorded 4 tackles, 3 solo and 1 assist. Washington looks certain to be the anchor of the D-line next season.
Honorable Mention: Jake Fischer, Derek Earls, & Paul Vassallo- The Arizona LB's combined for 19 tackles, and a pass deflection. The perceived ‘weak point' of the defense heading into the season has turned into a strength. Thank goodness these guys are here, as the Arizona DB's have seemingly gone MIA.