TUCSON , Ariz. ??C?A pair of Wildcat seniors have been rewarded with Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after leading Arizona to a 34-24 win over No. 2 Oregon last Thursday. Linebacker Spencer Larsen was tabbed as the defensive POW, while classmate Antoine Cason garnered the special teams honors as a punt returner. The weekly award is the first in Larsen's four-year career, while Cason was feted for a fourth time as a Wildcat, but the first on special teams.
Larsen, a Danny Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist and the leading tackler in the Pac-10 this season, helped Arizona pull off a 34-24 upset over second-ranked Oregon, racking up a game-high 16 total tackles, including a career-best 12 solo stops and three for losses, as the Wildcats held the Ducks nearly 19 points below their season scoring average heading into the game and forced four UO turnovers in the contest. Larsen, who has 116 total tackles this season and is the only conference play averaging double-digit stops per game this year (10.5), also tallied his second sack of the year and forced a fumble in the win against the Ducks.
Jim Thorpe, Chuck Bednarik and Ronnie Lott Awards semifinalist Cason returned a punt 56 yards for a TD against the Ducks. Cason, who is a four-year starter at cornerback but only in his first season as a member of the special teams unit, became the first player in the Pac-10 with two punt returns for a score this season when he followed his line of blockers down the sideline to make it 31-11 Arizona in the second quarter against the Ducks (Cason also returned a punt 70 yards for a score against NAU earlier in the season).
In addition to his special teams score, Cason added a 42-yard interception return for a TD to become just one of two players in the Football Bowl Subdivision this year to score on a punt and interception return in the same game (SJSU's Dwight Lowery is the other). Cason's totals for the contest against the Ducks, seven solo tackles, five PBUs, 110 all-purpose yards, his second scoring interception of the year - fifth total pick - and the punt return for a TD.