DALLAS (FWAA) – Center Leif Fautanu and the Arizona State Sun Devils reached notable offensive numbers in their 38-27 home win over Washington State, topping 250 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in the same game for the first time in five seasons. Fautanu’s guidance on the offensive line helped create five touchdowns from the ground game and earned him the Outland Trophy National Player of the Week honor for games during the weekend of Oct. 28, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
For the first time, the FWAA is selecting an Outland Trophy National Player of the Week as part of the NCFAA's weekly national honors from 12 awards. The recipient of the 2023 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN on Dec. 8. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 10, 2024.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the season. The weekly winners, including Fautanu this week, will be part of the Outland Trophy watch list going forward.
Fautanu, 6-2, redshirt junior from Honolulu, Hawaii, has been Arizona State’s mainstay in the middle. He is currently the 14th-highest graded center in the FBS as a pass blocker with a score of 83.1. Fautanu did not allow a single pressure this week according to PFF and was the 15th-highest graded center in the nation according to their ratings.
Against Washington State, Fautanu and the offensive line helped the Sun Devils post 509 total yards with 274 through the air and 235 on the ground. It is the first time ASU has topped 250 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in the same game since 2018 in a win over No. 15 Utah. The five rushing scores are the most by ASU since the 2021 season-opener against Southern Utah (six) and the most against an FBS opponent since the 2020 season finale against Oregon State (also six).
This week’s Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week has given up only seven quarterback hurries on the season, tied for 24th among FBS centers with at least 250 pass blocking snaps.
Arizona State has a finalist in its Outland Trophy past in offensive tackle Juan Roque from 1996. Roque is also the Sun Devils’ last offensive lineman to make the FWAA All-America team.
The Sun Devils go to Utah for a 2 p.m. ET kickoff Saturday broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
The Outland Trophy, celebrating 78 years since its founding, is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday. For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned NCFAA.org or follow on Twitter at @NCFAA.
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The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, consisting of more than 1,300 men and women from the City of Omaha, the State of Nebraska, and others. The Committee serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities in the Greater Omaha sports area. In addition to the Outland Trophy Award Events and Dinner, the Greater Omaha Sports Committee promotes high school, college, and professional sports in the Greater Omaha area and the Midwest. For more information contact Bob Mancuso Jr., Chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org or see showofficeonline.com.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at email@example.com.