SALT LAKE CITY — On a week when Utah kicker Matt Gay and punter Mitch Wishnowsky are up for national awards, the juniors picked up first-team all-conference recognition from the Pac-12 on Tuesday.
Gay and Wishnowsky were the only Utes to earn top honors from the league’s head coaches. The duo will be joined by Utah coach Kyle Whittingham at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Atlanta on Thursday.
Wishnowsky is a finalist for the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter. He won the award last season and is seeking to join Tom Hackett (2014, 2015) as a repeat winner for the Utes. The 2016 consensus All-American ranks among the national leaders in punts inside the 10 (21.74 percent) and net punting (42.20 yards).
Gay, meanwhile, leads the nation in field goals made with 27, including five from 50 yards and greater. He’s a finalist for the Lou Groza Award as the country’s top kicker.
Utah placed four players on the All-Pac-12 second team. The honorees include senior receiver Darren Carrington II, senior offensive guard Salesi Uhatafe, sophomore cornerback Julian Blackmon and senior return specialist Boobie Hobbs. Senior defensive linemen Lowell Lotulelei and Filipo Mokofisi earned honorable mention recognition, as did senior center Lo Falemaka and senior linebacker Kavika Luafatasaga.
Stanford running back Bryce Love was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea was named the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and Stanford’s David Shaw was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
The Utes (6-6) will face West Virginia (7-5) in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Dec. 26.