By Theo Lawson
PULLMAN — The Pac-12 handed its first Offensive Player of the Week award of the 2019 season to a Washington State quarterback, while the league’s first-ever Offensive Lineman of the Week honor went to the Cougars’ starting left tackle.
Redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Gordon and redshirt junior left tackle Liam Ryan were both recognized Tuesday by the Pac-12, which this season is honoring an Offensive Lineman of the Week, Defensive Lineman of the Week and Freshman of the Week, along with the customary Offensive, Defensive and Special Team awards.
Utah’s Francis Bernard was named Defensive Player of the Week, Arizona State punter Michael Turk won the Special Teams award, Washington’s Benning Potoa’e won D-lineman of the Week and ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels earned Freshman of the Week.
All five of Mike Leach’s starting quarterbacks at WSU have now won the weekly offensive award. Luke Falk leads the group as a six-time recipient, Connor Halliday won it twice and Jeff Tuel, Gardner Minshew and Gordon have all won it once.
Gordon, who completed 29-of-35 passes for 420 yards and five touchdowns in a 58-7 rout of New Mexico State, becomes the second WSU QB to win the award on the heels of his first start. Falk achieved that feat after throwing for five touchdowns at Oregon State in 2014, replacing the injured Halliday.
A redshirt senior, Gordon completed his first 15 passes against NMSU and led the Cougars to points on all nine of the drives he started. WSU scored touchdowns on the first six drives of the game.
Ryan was making his 14th career start, but the first at left tackle, where the California native is replacing first-round NFL Draft pick and former All-American Andre Dillard. He sealed off the left edge of a line that blocked for six touchdown passes, allowed just one sack on 49 pass attempts and produced WSU’s first 100-yard rusher — Max Borghi — since 2016. Ryan also earned WSU’s “Bone” Award, presented weekly to the team’s top O-lineman, after the victory.