WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Arizona juniors Michael Johnson and Nick Folk have been named the Pac-10 Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively, commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Johnson pulled in three of Arizona
's six interceptions on the day in Arizona's 29-27 win over Oregon State
in Corvallis, Ore., on Saturday. The JC transfer from Tyler Community College picked off his first career pass in the first quarter and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to help stake UA to a 13-3 lead. The defensive score was the first of the season for Arizona and marked the first touchdown off an intercepted pass for UA since Ray Wells
in 2002. Later, Johnson helped thwart an OSU scoring drive in the second quarter with his second INT of the game on the UA 27 and added his third pick of the day on Oregon
State's final drive in the fourth quarter to seal Arizona's first Pac-10 victory of the year. In addition to his three interceptions, Johnson chipped in with a season-high nine tackles against the Beavers, including five solo stops.
Double-duty kicker Folk played a big part in Arizona's over OSU. Filling in for injured NCAA-leading punter Danny Baugher, Folk booted an Arizona season-high eight punts for 336 yards against the Beavers. He placed three kicks inside the OSU 20 and had a pair sail over 50 yards, including a key 56-yarder to trap OSU on its own 27 on its final possession in the tight fourth quarter. His finally tally on the day was a Baugher-esque 42 yards per punt average and a team net of 41 yards per kick. In his "normal role" as place kicker, Folk also added a 19-yard field goal in the two-point win.
The honors are the first of the season for any Arizona player and the first in both players' UA careers.