BY SPNW Staff 02:27PM 10/31/2011

Polk, Predictably, Wins Pac-12 Weekly Honor

Washington’s Chris Polk earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after scoring five touchdowns in the Huskies’ 42-31 victory over the Arizona Wildcats.

Washington's Chris Polk celebrates one of his five touchdowns against Arizona, a performance that earned him the Pac-12 Player of the Week award. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

University of Washington running back Chris Polk, who against Arizona Saturday became the first player in school history to rush for 100 yards (144) and catch passes for 100 in the same game, has been named the Pac-12 Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week.

Polk also tied a modern-era school record by tallying five touchdowns in Washington’s 42-31 victory, which made the Huskies’ record 6-2 as well as bowl eligible. Helping UW rebound from a 65-21 thrashing at Stanford a week ago, Polk scored on runs of 1, 1, 5 and 2 yards and caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Keith Price.

“I didn’t even know I scored that much or I did all those things,” Polk said after the game. “The win, that means most to me.”

Polk set a school record with his 18th career 100-yard rushing game, breaking a tie with Napoleon Kaufman (1991-94). Polk also became the first UW running back to post a 100-yard receiving game since Richard Thomas had 102 against Miami in 1994, and just the fifth UW runner to accomplish that feat.

The Washington running backs with 100-yard receiving games (none rushed for 100 yards in the same game):

Year Date Opp. Player Yards TDs Big Play
1950 9/23 K-State Roland Kirkby 184 3 69 TD from Don Heinrich
1950 11/25 WSU Bill Earley 159 1 36 TD from Don Heinrich
1951 11/4 USC Bill Earley 130 0 Did not score a TD
1949 10/29 USC Roland Kirkby 116 2 55 TD from Don Heinrich
1972 11/18 WSU Pete Taggares 108 1 64 TD from S. Sixkiller
1994 9/24 Miami Richard Thomas 102 1 75 TD from Damon Huard
2011 10/29 Ariz Chris Polk 100 1 17 TD from Keith Price

Polk is the fourth running back to rush for four touchdowns in a game, and the third to score five TDs in a single contest, joining Hugh McElhenny (1950 vs. Washington State) and Corey Dillon (1996 vs. UCLA).

Polk is the 10th player in conference history to score five or more touchdowns in a game, and the first since Jahvid Best for California against Minnesota in 2009.

Polk joined Kaufman as the only running backs in UW history to exceed 1,000 or more yards in three different seasons. With 1,045 this year, Polk now has 3,606 for his career, No. 2 all time at Washington behind Kaufman’s 4,106.

Polk, who is averaging 127.0 yards per game, needs to average slightly less than that, 125.0, over Washington’s final four games to match Kaufman’s career mark.

This is the second time that Polk has earned the conference’s top weekly honor. Polk was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after his 284-yard, 2-TD performance against Washington State Dec. 4.

UCLA safety Tevin McDonald and Stanford placekicker Eric Whitaker received Defensive Player of the Week and Special Teams Player of the Week awards, respectively. McDonald had three interceptions in UCLA’s 31-14 win over California. Whitaker made both of his field goal attempts and all six of his PAT tries in Stanford’s 56-48 triple-overtime win over USC.

The Huskies entertain No. 6-ranked Oregon Saturday night at Husky Stadium, the final game in the facility before it undergoes a renovation that will keep it shuttered until 2013.

The Ducks have won seven consecutive games against Washington, all by 20 or more points. Oddsmakers have established Oregon as a 15-point pick to beat the Huskies.


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