Sophomore punter Kris Albarado was named the Pac-12 special teams player of the week on Monday following a strong showing in USC’s 17-14 victory over Utah State.
Albarado averaged 35.4 yards per punt and played a key role in keeping the Aggies on their side of the field. Five of his seven attempts landed within the 20-yard line, and two of those seven pinned Utah State inside its own five-yard line. For the season, he’s averaging 40.3 yards per attempt.
Albarado is in his first year as the starting punter, replacing former All-Pac-12 honorable mention Kyle Negrete. Albarado took over the position after a high school career in which he finished with MaxPreps All-American Medium Schools second-team. He was ranked as the No. 4 kicker/punter in the class of 2011 by Rivals.com.
Other Pac-12 weekly awards went to Utah sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson, who threw for 273 yards in a 20-13 win over BYU, and Oregon State junior cornerback Steven Nelson, who had a 16-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 34-30 comeback victory against the San Diego State Aztecs.
Albarado and the rest of the Trojans will look to build on the solid special teams performance on Sep. 28 with a road matchup against the Arizona State Sun Devils. In a matchup of ranked Pac-12 teams, the Sun Devils fell to the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal on Saturday by a score of 42-28.
Last season, USC defeated Arizona State at the Coliseum by a score of 38-17. Since that victory, the Trojans have an overall record of 3-4.
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