Beavers take Pac-10 awards by storm

Just in from the Pac-10: Jacquizz Rodgers has been named Pac-10 offensive player of the year and freshman of the year, and Mike Riley has been named Pac-10 coach of the year.

Not bad for a freshman running back who wasn't even the projected starter this year, and a coach who's team was expected to finish sixth in the conference.

From the official release:

Offensive Player of the Year & Freshman of the Year Jacquizz Rodgers, TB, Oregon State: Rodgers becomes the first freshman in Conference history to be named offensive player of the year. The frosh from Richmond, Texas, burst upon the Pac-10 scene this year becoming just the third freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in Conference history. Rodgers took over as the starter in the second game of the season and caught the nation's attention in game four when he rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns in Oregon State's 27-21 upset win against No. 1-ranked USC and its topflight defense. With a bowl game still to go, Rodgers has rushed 259 times for a Pac-10 freshman record 1,253 yards (4.8) and 11 touchdowns. He has added 29 receptions for 247 yards and one touchdown to give him an even 1,500 all-purpose yards for the season. Rodgers led the Beavers in rushing in nine of 11 games and surp assed the 100-yard mark seven times. He was named Pac-10 offensive player of the week three times and national player of the week following his performance against USC. Rodgers becomes the first Oregon State player to be named Pac-10 offensive player of the year since the award was inaugurated in 1975 and just the second player of the year overall from OSU, joining defensive end Bill Swancutt, who earned defensive player of the year honors in 2004.

Coach of the Year Mike Riley, Oregon State: Oregon State had the fewest returning starters in the Pac-10 entering this season and was picked to finish seventh in the Conference. The Beavers promptly lost their first two games of the season to make that prediction look accurate. But a stunning upset of then top-ranked USC, still the only blemish on the Trojans' record this year, and an October-November win streak of six straight games before losing to rival Oregon in the Civil War in the season finale catapulted the Beavers to an 8-4 mark. Included was a record of 7-2 and a tie for second in Conference play, good for a berth in the Brut Sun Bowl. Riley has upped his eight-year record as head coach at Oregon State to 55-42, the third-most victories in OSU history behind Lon Stiner and Tommy Prothro. Riley becomes just the third Oregon State coach to be voted Pac-10 coach of the year, following Dave Kragthorpe in 1989 and current Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson in 2000.

USC linebacker Rey Maluluga was named Pac-10 defensive player of the year.

 

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