TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University senior cornerback Robert Nelson has been named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after he was responsible for three turnovers and scored a touchdown in Arizona State’s 30-17 win over Oregon State on Nov. 16.
Nelson intercepted Beavers’ quarterback Sean Mannion twice, returning one 23 yards for a touchdown with a little more than five minutes to play to seal the victory, and also added a fumble recovery and five tackles, including four solo.
Nelson now has six interceptions this season, the most by a cornerback since Eric Allen had eight in 1987 and the most by a Sun Devil since safety Troy Nolan had six in 2007.
Nelson is the fourth ASU student-athlete to earn Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season, which is the most since five Sun Devils were honored during the 2009 season.
2013 ASU Pac-12 Players Of The Week
Robert Nelson (D), Nov. 18
Taylor Kelly (O), Nov. 4
Zane Gonzalez (ST), Oct. 21
Alden Darby (D), Sept. 30
Nelson played a large role in a defensive effort that helped keep the most prolific quarterback-receiver combination in the nation in check. Mannion came into the game leading the nation with an average of 393.3 passing yards per game and ASU held him to 320 yards, or 73.3 yards below his per game average. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks came into the game leading the nation with an average of 149.3 yards per game and ASU held him to 99 yards, or 50.3 yards below his per game average.
ASU is the Pac-12’s co-leader in interceptions with 17 after the secondary intercepted Mannion four times in the game. Mannion had thrown just six interceptions in his nine previous games this season.
Nelson was also named the National Defensive Back of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.
Running back Marion Grice has been nominated for the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Pac-12 Player of the Week honor after he rran for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, and finished with 157 all-purpose yards in Arizona State’s 30-17 win over Oregon State on Nov. 16.
Fans are encouraged to vote for Grice through the award’s official Facebook page. Voting will run through Wednesday at 1 p.m. MT.
Grice added 13 receiving yards on four catches and 25 yards on one kickoff return. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry, including a long of 40.
Grice has 20 touchdowns on the season, and became the third Sun Devil in school history and just the 15th Pac-10/12 player in the past 36 seasons (1978-present) to do so.
Grice has 901 rushing yards this season, just 99 yards shy of 1,000. The last Sun Devil back to hit the 1,000-yard mark was Cameron Marshall with 1,050 yards in 2011, and Grice would be only the third ASU back to hit the 1,000-yard mark since 2001 as Ryan Torain had 1,229 yards in 2006.
The Sun Devils travel to Los Angeles to take on the UCLA Bruins on Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. MT. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports.