PULLMAN – Erik Powell has been as instrumental to Washington State’s rise up the national rankings as any other Cougars player and for the second time in as many weeks, the senior kicker was dubbed the Pac-12’s Special Teams Player of the Week.
In a 33-10 win at Oregon on Saturday, Powell connected on all four of his field goal attempts – including one that was longer than any the fifth-year player had made during his WSU career.
The career-long 52-yarder broke a 10-10 tie in the second quarter at Autzen Stadium. Powell drilled another long one, from 47 yards out, that would have tied his previous personal best.
“I knew he’d have enough leg,” WSU coach Mike Leach said of the 52-yarder. “And of course he drilled it down the middle. I knew he would because he can kick – I know it sounds ambitious to some – he can kick a lot further than that. You’ve got to hit that sucker, too, but no, he launches it. The other thing is, that’s a tough stadium to kick in.”
Powell also nailed kicks from 25 and 29 yards out. The Vancouver, Washington, product enters Week 7 tied for second in the Pac-12 in total field goals (12) and is tied for the conference lead in total points (64).
He was also recognized after going 3 for 3 against USC, hitting field goals from 44, 33 and 32 yards in a 30-27 win over the fifth-ranked Trojans. The 32-yarder came with 1:40 left and proved to be the game-winner.
Powell is the first WSU player to earn the award in consecutive weeks since Rueben Mayes did it in 1984. Punter Kyle Basler was the last Cougar to earn multiple special teams honors in the same season (2004).