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WSU’s Kaleb Fossum named Pac-12 special teams player of the week

Kaleb Fossum's 75-yard punt return for a touchdown opened the scoring in WSU's 56-21 win over Cal. (AP)

Washington State wide receiver/punt returner Kaleb Fossum has been named the Pac-12’s special teams player of the week for his effort in the No. 20 Cougars’ 56-21 win over Cal on Saturday.

Fossum returned only one punt in the victory, but it was a memorable one. The sophomore walk-on opened the scoring by bolting 75 yards to the end zone for the first punt return for a touchdown by a WSU player since 2005.

Cougars rise to No. 20 in AP poll after eighth straight win

The Cougars have seen a marked improvement on special teams this year, an area that had long been an issue for the program. Robert Taylor also returned a kick for a touchdown against Arizona State on Oct. 22, which was a first for WSU since 2013.

The other Pac-12 players of the week were USC quarterback Sam Darnold (offense) and Utah defensive end Hunter Dimick (defense).

WSU’s Gabe Marks (87 yards receiving, two touchdowns) was a nominee for offensive player of the week after hauling in seven catches to break the Pac-12 career receptions mark at 295. The record was previous held by Colorado’s Nelson Spruce (294).