Rich Rodriguez, Marcus Mariota earn top Pac-12 football honors

Arizona's Rich Rodriguez is named Pac-12 coach of the year

The timing was so, well, RichRod.

Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez, who led the Wildcats to a 10-2 record and top-10 national ranking, was named Pac-12 coach of the year on Tuesday.

The announcement came the same day Michigan fired coach Brady Hoke, who succeeded Rodriguez in Ann Arbor.

Michigan fired Rodriguez in 2010 after three years in which he went 3-9, 5-7 and 7-6. Hoke started off fast, going 11-2 his first year, but stumbled to a 5-7 finish in his fourth season.

Rodriguez never seemed a good fit at Michigan, but he has been the perfect fit in Tucson. It took Rodriguez just three years to lead Arizona to the Pac-12 South title and a spot in Friday's Pac-12 title game against Oregon.

Arizona has a chance to defeat Oregon, and quarterback Marcus Mariota, a third straight game.

Mariota, the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, was the slam-dunk winner as Pac-12 offensive player of the year. Mariota leads the nation with a 190.2 efficiency rating and has accounted for 47 total touchdowns (36 passing, 11 rushing)

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright, who forced and recovered a late Mariota fumble to seal the Wildcats' win in Eugene this year, was named the conference's top defensive player.

Oregon tailback Royce Freeman earned top freshman offensive honors, while USC's Adoree Jackson was named top defensive freshman player. 

Freeman led the Pac-12 with 16 rushing touchdowns and has 1,185 rushing yards for the season. Jackson played receiver and cornerback for USC, and his 27.7 average per kickoff return ranked fourth nationally.

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