Quarterback Matt Leinart of USC and defensive end Dave Ball of UCLA have been named Pac-10 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. In addition, cornerback Brandon Browner of Oregon State was named Freshman of the Year and Pete Carroll of USC and Bill Doba of Washington State shared Coach of the Year honors. The award winners are selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR MATT LEINART, QB, USC: Leinart, a
sophomore from Santa Ana, Calif., followed Carson Palmer as USC's starting
quarterback and put up numbers to rival last year's Heisman Trophy winner. With
one more regular season game still to go, Leinart has completed 210 of 330
passes (.636) for 2,951 yards and 30 TDs with just seven interceptions. He is
the Pac-10 leader and ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency (164.5
rating) and ranks second in the league in both passing yards (268.3 per game)
and total offense (265.0). He also leads the Pac-10 in touchdown passes (30) and
completion percentage (63.6%). He has a current string of 197 consecutive passes
without an interception, just one shy of the Pac-10 season record and well
within range of the Pac-10 career record of 216 (Brad Otton, USC, 1994-95). He
has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 10 of 11 games this year. His 30
touchdown passes stand fifth on the Pac-10 single-season list and he is
challenging the Conference single-season record of 34 (Ryan Leaf, WSU, 1997).
Leinart is a finalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR DAVE BALL, DE, UCLA: Ball, a senior from Dixon, Calif., is the national leader in quarterback sacks through games of Nov. 22 with 16.5. He also leads the Pac-10 in sacks (16.5) and tackles for loss (20.5) and is second in the Conference in fumbles forced with five. His 16.5 quarterback sacks established a UCLA season record and he also holds the Bruin career record at 30.5. Ball has been named a 2003 first-team All-America selection by the Football Writers Association of America and is a finalist for three major awards--the Bronko Nagurski Award (top defensive player), the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman), and the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. Ball was a unanimous selection to the All-Pac-10 football team and was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week for his 3.5 sack, two fumbles forced performance in UCLA's win against Washington.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR BRANDON BROWNER, CB, OREGON STATE: Browner, from Sylmar, Calif., had the big task of replacing All-America cornerback Dennis Weathersby in the Oregon State starting lineup and has done so in a sensational manner. An integral part of the Oregon State unit that leads the Pac-10 in total defense, Browner is tied for third in the Conference in interceptions with five and tied for fifth in passes defended. He also has forced two fumbles. Browner is the only freshman to be named to the Pac-10 All-Conference Team (second team) selected by the league's head coaches. He was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week for his three-interception performance in Oregon State's win against Arizona State.
CO-COACH OF THE YEAR PETE CARROLL, USC: Carroll has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround in USC football fortunes in his three years on the job. With one regular season game plus a bowl game still to play, the Trojans stand at 10-1 and have clinched at least a tie for the league title and secured the Pac-10's automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series. It marks the second straight year USC has posted double digits in wins and at least a share of the Conference championship. The Trojans have a current seven-game winning streak going and have won 14 in a row at home. Carroll has upped his USC record to 27-9 (.750) and is a remarkable 10-0 in November. USC currently leads the Pac-10 in both scoring offense (41.3) and scoring defense (17.9), as well as total offense, pass efficiency and turnover margin. Carroll is the first USC coach to be selected Pac-10 coach of the year since 1988 (Larry Smith).
CO-COACH OF THE YEAR BILL DOBA, WASHINGTON STATE: Doba earns coach of the year honors in his rookie season as head coach at Washington State and his first season as a college head coach. He was named head coach last December after serving 14 seasons as an assistant at WSU, the last nine as defensive coordinator. Doba has kept the Cougars rolling with a 9-3 record this season and no worse than a second-place finish in the Conference standings. Washington State will be shooting for a third consecutive 10-win season when it plays in its bowl game, a feat unprecedented in Cougar history. Washington State continued its usual offensive fireworks under Doba, averaging 30.5 points per game, but the old defensive coordinator's mark was especially seen on defense where the Cougars rank in the top three in every major defensive category and lead the Conference in quarterback sacks and third-down conversion defense.
In addition to individual awards, the Pac-10 coaches selected the 2003 All-Pac-10 Football Team that follows.
PAC-10 CONFERENCE: Named quarterback Matt Leinart of USC offensive player of the year, end Dave Ball of UCLA defensive player of the year, cornerback Brandon Browner of Oregon State freshman of the year and Pete Carroll of USC and Bill Doba of Washington State co-coaches of the year.
2003 ALL-PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM
First Team Offense Second Team OffenseST=special teams player (not a kicker or returner)
Offensive Player of the Year: Matt Leinart, QB, So.,
ARIZONA: FS, Darrell Brooks, So.; C Keoki Fraser, Jr.; ILB Joe Siofele, Sr.; DE Marcus Smith, So.
ARIZONA STATE: WR Skyler Fulton, Sr.; WR Derek Hagan, So.; FB Mike Karney, Sr.; P Tim Parker, Sr.; QB Andrew Walter, Jr.
CALIFORNIA: DT Lorenzo Alexander, Jr.; FS Ryan Gutierrez, Jr.; OLB Wendell Hunter, Jr.; ST Mike McGrath, Jr.; OT Chris Murphy, Sr.; QB Aaron Rodgers, So.
OREGON: TE Tim Day, So.; DE Devan Long, So.; PR Steven Moore, Sr.; WR Samie Parker, Sr.; DT Junior Siavii, Sr.; C Dan Weaver, Sr.
OREGON STATE: QB Derek Anderson, Jr.; C Matt Brock, Jr.; FS Mitch Meeuwsen, Jr.; OG Kanan Sanchez, Jr.; DE Bill Swancutt, Jr.; CB Aric Williams, Jr.
STANFORD: MLB David Bergeron, Jr.; OLB Jared Newberry, Jr.; NT Babatunde Oshinowo, So.; TE Brett Pierce, Sr.; TE Alex Smith, Jr.; CB Leigh Torrence, Jr.
UCLA: SE Craig Bragg, Jr.; KR Maurice Drew, Fr.; OG Eyoseph Efseaff, Jr.; OLB Spencer Havner, So.; P Chris Kluwe, Jr.; DT Rodney Leisle, Sr.; ILB Justin London, So.; PK Justin Medlock, Fr.; SS Jarrad Page, So.
USC: SS Darnell Bing, Fr.; KR Reggie Bush, Fr.; OT Winston Justice, So.; PK Ryan Killeen, Jr.; FS Jason Leach, Jr.; OLB Melvin Simmons, Sr.; MLB Lofa Tatupu, So.; TB LenDale White, Fr.
WASHINGTON: C Todd Bachert, Sr.; OT Khalif Barnes, Jr.; ST Owen Biddle, Sr.; OLB Greg Carothers, Sr.; DT Jerome Stevens, Sr.; FB Zach Tuiasosopo, Jr.
WASHINGTON STATE: OT Calvin Armstrong, Jr.; P Kyle Basler, So.; FL Devard Darling, Jr.; DT Tai Tupai, Sr.; DT Jeremey Williams, Sr.; SS Virgil Williams, Sr.
NOTES ON THE 2003 ALL-PAC-10 FOOTBALL TEAM
Selection Procedures: The All-Pac-10 Team is selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.
By School: USC placed the most players on the first team with nine selections. Washington State was next with five, followed by Oregon and Oregon State with four each.
By Class: Of the 29 first-team selections, 16 are seniors, eight are juniors and five are sophomores. No freshmen made the first team.
Unanimous: Four players--DE Dave Ball of UCLA, CB Jason David of Washington State, TB Steven Jackson of Oregon State and OT Jacob Rogers of USC--were named on the first team ballots of all 10 coaches.
Two-time Selections: Five players were voted first-team selections for the second time--PK Drew Dunning of Washington State (2001), TB Steven Jackson of Oregon State, OT Jacob Rogers of USC, MLB Richard Seigler of Oregon State and WR Reggie Williams of Washington.
Double Dipper: Keith Lewis of Oregon was named to the first-team as both a safety and a special teams performer.
USC's Co-Coach of the Year Pete Carroll has led USC to at least a share of the Pac-10 Title and a 10-1 record