Vilardo: A Deep Dive into Some Pac-12 Stat Leaders

Posted on November 24, 2021


  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

Throughout the season in this column, we have given you some selected stat leaders and where they have ranked nationally.

Pac-12As we approach the final regular season week of the year for the conference—except for USC and Cal meeting on Championship weekend—we thought we would dig a little deeper into some of those stats and see where they stack up on the all-time lists.

Devin Lloyd is currently second in the nation in tackles for loss per game with 1.9 per contest. That figure trails only the 2.4 per game of Alabama’s Will Anderson.

For his career, Lloyd has registered 42.0 total tackles for loss for his career. He has averaged 1.4 TFL per game in his last 30 games played.

Those 42 TFL are one shy of the Utah record of 43.0 set by Hunter Dimick from 2013-16. This season he has had 21.0 TFL, again ranking second only to Will Anderson.

His 21 lead the Pac-12 by seven with the next closest to Lloyd’s total being that of Carson Wells of Colorado with 14.

Colorado Linebacker Carson Wells | Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The best season ever recorded by a Pac-12 player was done by Terrell Suggs of Arizona in 2002 when he registered 31.5 TFL on the year.

Should Lloyd continue to average two per outing then his total would end up being 27 on the year and would be among the top-five most prolific seasons a Pac-12 player has seen.

The current top single-season Pac-12 TFL marks:

• 2002 Terrell Suggs, Arizona State 31.5
• 2014 Scooby Wright, Arizona 31.0
• 1990 Ron George, Stanford 28.0
• 1993 Tedy Bruschi, Arizona 27.5

The top single-season performances in the Pac-12 Era (in addition to the total by Scooby Wright in 2014):

• 2014 Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington 25.0
• 2013 Trent Murphy. Stanford 23.5
• 2012 Will Sutton, Arizona St 23.5

The most TFL in a season by a Ute 22 by Chase Hansen in 2018. Tedy Bruschi holds the conference record for TFL in a career with 74.0.

Another interesting note, Devin Lloyd has intercepted two passes in his career, and both have been returned for a touchdown.

Britain Covey showed off how quickly he can break open a game last week with his 78-yard punt return to end the first half and give Utah a 28-7 lead at the break.

Utah wide receiver Britain Covey | Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Covey currently leads the nation with a 17.5-yard average per punt return. Since the Conference expanded, the only payers to have averaged more on punt returns were Dante Pettis of Washington in 2017 (20.4) and Nelson Agholor in 2013 for USC (19.1).

Covey has averaged 12.3 yards yards per punt return in his career, which stands as the eight best in conference history. Pettis again holds that mark at 14.2 yards.

For his career, Covey has 1,049 career punt return yards, the most in Utah history (LaVon Edwards is second with 892 from 1988-91). That total is also the most by any active player in the nation by over 200 yards.

His four punts returned for a touchdown during his career is tied for the most in Utah history along with Steve Odom 1971-73 and Steve Smith 1999-2000.

The most career punts returned for a touchdown, both in the conference and the NCAA belongs to Dante Pettis who took nine to the house during his career at UW.

Desean Jackson totaled six in his time at Cal. Covey’s four are tied with numerous players for the third most in conference history.

On the other end of the punting equation, the Conference has three players among the top seven in yards per punt.

Arizona punter Kyle Ostendorp | Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kyle Ostendorp of Arizona is averaging 49.41 yards per punt, the fourth best in the nation.

Race Porter is averaging 48.04, fifth nationally and Josh Wats is seventh for Colorado with a 47.89-yard average.

The best single-season punting average in Pac-12 history belongs to UCLA’s Kirk Wilson, who averaged 49.3 yards per punt in 1956. The top mark from the Pac-12 Era is 47.95 from Tom Hackett of Utah in 2015.

Two of the three punters are putting up record years for their respective schools—Ostendorp and Porter. The top singe season mark at Arizona belongs to Drew Riggleman, who averaged 46.1 yards per punt in 2014.

Kiel Rasp holds the single season mark for the Huskies at 45.6 yards per punt. Watts is just shy of the CU single season record that is currently held by Mark Mariscal who averaged 48.28 in the 2002 season for the Buffs.

(Side note on the national rankings of punters: In a normal year, Ostendorp is easily one or two, but San Diego State’s Matt Araiza is having a season unlike any in history, with a 51.8-yard average. He has already broken the record for punts of 60+ yards and has two sail 80+ yards in the air. The NCAA record is 50.3 yards per punt for a season. Colorado State’s Ryan Stanhouse is also on record pace with a 51.03-yard average).

Washington State’s Jahad Woods | Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Jahad Woods has forced nine fumbles in his career for Washington State. That is tied for the third-most in Conference history since the stat began being tracked regularly in 2005.

Scott Crichton of Oregon State (2011-13) and Kenny Rowe of Oregon (2007-10) each forced 10 during their careers. The most recent player from the Conference to finish their career with nine was Josh Shirley who did so for Washington from 2011-14.

Woods’ total of nine in his career is currently tied for the 29th-most by a player in NCAA history. The record belongs to Khalil Mack, who forced 16 during his time at Buffalo from 2010-13. Jake Hansen of Illinois is the active leader with 12 on his career.

Drake London was averaging 11.0 receptions per game prior to his season ending injury. Should he have been able to keep that pace up for the entire season he would have ended with a Pac-12-record 132 receptions on the season.

That would have been the 10th-most productive pass catching season in NCAA history.

Tevon Clark is currently averaging 20.83 yards per reception, the seventh-most in the country this season. Should he continue at rate, he would become just the third player in the Pac-12 era to average at least 20 yards per reception, joining a pair of Stanford players in Simi Fehoko’s 23.6-yard average in 2019 and Devon Cajuste who had a 22.9-yard average for the Cardinal in 2013.

The highest average in Cal history belongs to Wesley Walker who averaged a Conference all-time best mark of 27.1-yards in 1976.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter.

Visit his website at sercstats.com.




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