SALT LAKE CITY — Utah senior Matt Gay was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week after making a school-record six field goals in Saturday’s 32-25 win over Oregon.
Gay, who has made 18 straight kicks, has now won the conference award three times during the past six weeks.
“It’s another huge honor,” said Gay, who expressed gratitude for the opportunity to attempt six field goals in a game.
The reigning Lou Groza Award winner ranks first in the Pac-12 in field goals per game (2.00), total points scored (95), and scoring per game (9.5). He’s second in field goal percentage (.870).
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham praised Gay for his “great performance” against the Ducks.
“He was the difference in the game. It is usually a case where field goals won't win a game for you, but this case was the exception,” Whittingham said. “He scored 20 points on his own, broke the school record with six field goals and tied the school record for points in a game by a kicker, so a lot of good things.”
LOOKING AHEAD: Although the Rivalry Game with BYU is fast approaching, the Utes are focused on Colorado this week. Whittingham noted it at Monday’s press conference and senior linebacker Cody Barton had similar thoughts about it.
“I don’t know what’s after Colorado, man,” Barton said. “We’ll have to see.”
STEPPING UP: Whittingham was asked how Armand Shyne has improved. The junior ran for a career-high 174 yards in place of the injured Zack Moss in the Oregon game.15 comments on this story
"It has never been a case of his ability to carry the football. That isn't really something you can coach,” Whittingham said. “But really in pass protections, you know making sure you are picking up blitzes that was the biggest emphasis. Making sure that when he doesn't have the ball, he is working hard and doing things that we need him to do."
EXTRA POINTS: The Utah-BYU game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Nov. 24 will kick off at 8 p.m., and be broadcast on FS1 ... The Utes lead the nation in red-zone defense (58.1 percent) ... Senior linebacker Chase Hansen is listed as the third quarterback option this week behind starter Jason Shelley and backup Drew Lisk ... Senior punter Mitch Wishnowsky leads the Pac-12 in punt average (47 yards).