Sept. 16, 2012
TUCSON - Each week, Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff will select Player of the Week honorees based on performance leading up to and including the game each week. The Wildcats, now ranked No. 22 by the Associated Press and No. 21 in the USA Today poll, shut out South Carolina State, 56-0, Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
Offense: Matt Scott, Senior, Quarterback
Scott threw a career-high three touchdowns passes and equaled his career best with 30 pass completions. The senior signal caller finished the night 30-of-36 for 288 yards through the air, and he added 61 yards on nine carries and another touchdown on the ground. His 349 yards of total offense pushed him over the 3,000-yard plateau for his career.
Scott and the Wildcat offense rolled up 689 yards of total offense in the contest, two shy of the school record. In the process, Arizona marched to a school-record 43 first downs and ran 102 plays, another new top mark in the record books.
The Wildcats rank fourth in the nation in total offense (604.7), with Scott also checking in fourth individually (395.0). Scott leads all Pac-12 players in passing yards (995) and total yards (1185), while ranking eighth in rushing yardage per game (66.3). He has thrown seven touchdowns against just one interception on the season, and has a pair of rushing touchdowns to his credit.
Defense: Jonathan McKnight, Sophomore, Cornerback
McKnight intercepted his second pass in as many games to lead a stifling Arizona defense that registered its first shutout in 52 games. He also finished the game with two tackles.
McKnight and the Wildcats limited the Bulldogs to just eight first downs in the game, the fewest gained by an opponent in 32 games. In the process, S.C. State mustered just 154 total yards of offense (65 rushing, 89 passing) on 54 plays. The 2.9 yards per play gained were the fewest against the Wildcats in the last 26 games. McKnight and the UA secondary shut down the Bulldogs' passing game, yielding just 2.9 yards per attempt on 25 throws in the game, also the lowest total in the last 26 contests.
Special Teams: Brian Chacon, Junior, Long Snapper
Chacon, UA's starting snapper on special teams, was steady in his performance in what turned out to be a busy day for the PAT kicking unit. Chacon and the Wildcats were perfect in all eight of their PAT kicks en route to scoring 56 points - the eighth-largest margin of victory in school history. The trigger-man on the unit that must snap, block, hold and kick without error, Chacon's consistency helped John Bonano boot each of his career-best eight PATs.
From the scout team, sophomore quarterback Alex Cappellini and redshirt freshman tight end Ben Sullivan on offense, junior cornerback Justin Samuels on defense and freshman safety Clint Cochrane on special teams were also honored for their effort during the South Carolina State preparations.
The Wildcats will make their first road trip of the season and open Pac-12 play facing the Oregon Ducks on Sat., Sept. 22, at Autzen Stadium. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. PT and air on ESPN.