WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Arizona's Willie Tuitama and Mike Thomas have been named the Pac-10 Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively, commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. The honor is the first in each player's career and the second and third weekly honors for Arizona players this year.
Tuitama broke the Arizona single-game passing record to help lead Arizona to a come-from-behind, 48-41, win over Washington in Seattle last Saturday. The third-year signal caller was 38-for-51 for 510 yards and five TDs against the Huskies. He finished the contest with 517 yards of total offense (510 yards passing, seven rushing), the third-most by any player in Pac-10 history. Trailing 41-26 early in the fourth quarter, Tuitama led the Cats back by going 13-for-14 for 140 yards and three scores in the final 12 minutes of the game. He completed his last 11 straight pass attempts and threw for scores of 33, 2 and 27 yards in the final frame to rally Arizona. Additionally, he tossed a 66-yard TD pass, UA's longest play from scrimmage this season, in the first quarter and hit his tight end for a 51-yard score in the second quarter. Tuitama broke Arizona single-season records for TD passes (21) and completions (257) in the win.
Thomas returned six kickoffs for 173 yards, including a pair of 45-yarders, to help Arizona rally and defeat Washington 48-41 on Saturday. The first-year kick returner narrowly missed UA's single-game school record for return yardage and amassed 338 all-purpose yards (in addition to his outstanding day in returns he also caught 10 passes for 165 yards and three TDs) the third most all-purpose yards in Arizona history.