Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, San Jose State linebacker Justin Cole and San Jose State placekicker Jared Strubeck were named the Western Athletic Conference offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, respectively.
Kaepernick, a sophomore from Turlock, Calif. (Pittman HS), totaled 416 yards of total offense and accounted for five touchdowns in Nevada’s 49-27 win at UNLV on Saturday. Kaepernick completed 11-of-16 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and also rushed 18 times for 240 yards and three scores. After Nevada fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter, he hit Chris Wellington on a 70-yard touchdown pass to get the Wolf Pack on the board. He opened the third quarter with a 66-yard touchdown run and added a 28-yard run in the fourth quarter. Kaepernick became the first Nevada quarterback to rush for more than 200 yards in a game.
Cole, a junior from Chino Hills, Calif. (Chino Hills HS), had four tackles (3 solo) in San Jose State’s 20-17 win at Hawai‘i. He had 2.5 tackles for a loss including two quarterback sacks for a loss of 19 yards. Both of the sacks came on third down plays on San Jose State’s side of the field. The second, a 13-yard loss late in the fourth quarter, came with the game tied 17-17, and forced Hawai‘i to try a 55-yard field goal that was missed. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Spartans against the Warriors.
Strubeck, a senior from Camarillo, Calif. (Rio Mesa HS), made two long field goals in the second half of San Jose State’s 20-17 win at Hawai‘i. With 9:32 remaining in the game, he hit a career-long 50-yarder to tie the score at 17. Strubeck then nailed a 47-yard field goal with 1:49 left to give the Spartans the victory. He became the first Spartan to make a field goal of at least 50 yards since 1995 and the first to win a game in the final two minutes in the last six years. Strubeck became just the second kicker in San Jose State history to make two field goals of more than 45 yards in the same game.
Others nominated on offense: sophomore running back Ryan Mathews, Fresno State.
Also nominated on defense: sophomore linebacker Chris Carter, Fresno State; and junior linebacker Mike Bethea, Nevada.
Other special teams nominations: junior punt returner Marlon Moore, Fresno State; and sophomore punter Brad Langley, Nevada.