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Colorado places three on First-Team AP All-Pac-12, MacIntyre wins Coach of the Year

All hail the defense.

Utah v Colorado Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

`The AP announced their All-Pac-12 selections and awards on Friday. The Colorado Buffaloes were well represented, as they were with the Pac-12’s own selections two weeks ago.

Colorado was represented with three First-Team players, all from their elite defense. Those players were Jimmie Gilbert (LB), Chidobe Awuzie (CB) and Tedric Thompson (S). Gilbert was second in the conference in both sacks (10.5) and forced fumbles (6). He was also on the Pac-12’s First-Team.

Awuzie, arguably the best cornerback in the Pac-12, was inexplicably left off the first First-Team, but that mistake was made up for here. On the season, he had 61 tackles (6 for loss), 10 pass deflections, 4 sacks and 1 interception.

Perhaps even more egregious than Awuzie’s omission was that of Thompson. Roaming the center of the field and causing havoc everywhere, Thompson led the conference with 7 interceptions (second place had 3) and was second place with 15 pass deflections (second only to Colorado’s Akhello Witherspoon). It’s impossible to say who the MVP of the defense was, but Thompson would have my vote.

Colorado placed only one player on the AP’s Second-Team, and that was cornerback Akhello Witherspoon. Opposing quarterbacks were unable to pass on Awuzie and fearful of Thompson, so they continually targeted Witherspoon’s man. Witherspoon was incredible all season long, led the nation with 18 pass deflections and had the game-clinching interception at Oregon.

In the Associated Press’s awards, there’s a familiar name at the Coach of the Year: Mike MacIntyre. Colorado’s fourth-year head coach has already won Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Walter Camp Coach of the Year and Home Depot Coach of the Year.