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Blackmon, Tafua Receive Player Of The Week Honors

Utah Utes defensive end Mika Tafua (42) celebrates a touchdown after picking up a UCLA fumble as Utah and UCLA play a college football game in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Utes safety Julian Blackmon was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Defensive end Mika Tafua was awarded the Defensive Lineman of the Week in the conference for their performances against UCLA.

The honors this week marks the ninth and 10th Pac-12 Player of the Week selections for the Utes this season. It is the first time that both Tafua and Blackmon have received the honor of their careers. Utah picked up their fourth defensive player of the week honor and the fourth defensive lineman award this season.

In their 49-3 win over the Bruins on Saturday, Blackmon had a game-high 12 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and an interception. Tafua had 5 tackles, including one for a loss and returned a fumble 68-yards for a touchdown. Blackmon forced that fumble when he sacked UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

It’s also the fourth consecutive week that Utah has taken the defensive player of the week award, Tafua joins Bradlee Anae, Leki Fotu and John Penisini.

Also, quarterback Tyler Huntley was nominated for the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, but the honors went to Washington State QB Anthony Gordon.

Utah will travel to Arizona to face the Wildcats in their final road game of the regular season. The game will begin at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on FS1.

The Crimson Corner podcast is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches, and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

You can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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