It was an exciting night for the Beehive State's FBS football programs, as all three schools participated in Thursday night's College Football Awards ceremony. Utah's Matt Gay claimed the state's biggest prize of the night, the Lou Groza award.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said it was a “no-brainer” who won the award, and Gay's teammates and the first school he attended, Utah Valley University, gave him shoutouts on Twitter to show how proud they are of Gay winning the award.
Utah’s punter Mitch Wishnowsky was a finalist as well for the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s top punter. However, he came up just short, losing to Texas punter Michael Dickson. But don’t worry, the Aussie will have another crack at winning the award when he returns for his senior season next year.
Both Gay and Wishnowsky also made the second-team Walter Camp All-America team.
The biggest winner for the Aggies was Jalen Davis, who received first-team All-America honors. The starting cornerback finished the season with five interceptions, 18 pass deflections, four sacks and five tackles for loss.
He’s among the ninth player out of Utah State to be named All-American. He's the second Aggie to be inon the Walter Camp All-America team, joining former lineman Phil Olsen in 1969, and the second defensive back to receive All-America honors, joining Henry King from 1966.
Aggies kicker Dominik Eberle was a runner-up for the Lou Groza Award. However, he will have another chance. He said he is looking forward to playing in the Nova Arizona Bowl coming up against New Mexico State on Dec. 29.
Let’s not forget about the Cougars. Well, more like, let's not forget about Cosmo the Cougar, who made an appearance at the award show as he and the Oregon Duck had a little dance-off to entertain the crowd. If there was a Heisman Trophy for mascots, Cosmo would definitely be the front-runner, with amazing dancing performances this year.
In other news, BYU’s starting center Tejan Koroma was named to the Pro-Focus All-America second team. The senior started all 51 games in his career.
Nathan Chen is in it to win it
With the Pyeongchang Olympic Games two months away, figure skater Nathan Chen headlines a preview article by NBC Sports as he and the U.S. team compete in the Grand Prix Final beginning Friday at 10:45 a.m.
The Utah native is one of the favorites to win the Nagoya, Japan, event. One other competitor who might be standing in his way is silver medalist Shoma Uno, who represents Japan. The last time a U.S. singles skater won a Grand Prix Final was in 2010, when Alissa Czisny won it.
Meanwhile in the NFL
The NFL announced Thursday that both Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams were named Week 13’s FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Week. Smith, the former Utes QB, threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns in the Chiefs’ loss to the New York Jets. Williams, the former Cougars RB, rushed for 113 yards in 21 carries and one touchdown in an overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now about Thursday night's Falcons-Saints game: If you missed it, the Saints’ rookie safety Marcus Williams once again showed why he should be considered for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after catching an interception in the end zone early in the third quarter.
The Saints would later lose to the Falcons 20-17 in overtime.
Football: Weber State (11-2) at James Madison (12-0), 5 p.m., ESPN2
Utah (7-1) at BYU (3-5), 2 p.m.
Air Force (0-8) at Weber State (6-2), 2 p.m.
Utah State (2-6) at Utah Valley (3-6), 3 p.m.
Southern Utah (5-3) at Michigan State (8-1), 4 p.m., Big 10 Network
Beehive Classic: Utah State (5-5) vs. Utah (6-2) at Vivint Arena, 5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Beehive Classic: BYU (7-2) vs. Weber State (4-4), 8 p.m.
Jazz (13-13) at Milwaukee (13-10), 6:30 p.m.