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It is hard to think of Mike Thomas as a bench player, but on special teams he is. Devin Ross had been the kick returner for much of the season, but thanks to a nagging injury, Thomas got the call against Washington.
For his efforts he was named Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week. Thomas returned six kickoffs for 173 yards, including a pair of 45-yarders. Along with his 165 yards receiving, Thomas had the school’s third highest multi-purpose yard total.
Thomas was not alone.
Nate Ness also had a terrific game starting in place of Dominic Patrick. Ness had ten tackles, recovered a fumble and had an interception that he returned 31 yards. Although he has played sparingly this season, the junior college transfer is second on the team in interceptions with three.
Although he is not a sub, Willie Tuitama also won Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. After throwing for over 500 yards and five scores, he was named conference Offensive Player of the Week.