University of Utah’s Francis Bernard is Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Utah Utes linebacker Francis Bernard celebrates after scoring on an interception against Brigham Young University in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. Bernard has been named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week

Utah linebacker Francis Bernard’s Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award will add to the memories of his last game against his former school.

Bernard earned the conference honor Tuesday for his play in Utah’s 30-12 win over BYU in Provo, where he spent two years as a Cougar running back and linebacker. His 58-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter put the Utes ahead to stay, and he recorded 1½ tackles for loss. Bernard also was credited with a third-down stop that preceded BYU’s failed fourth-down attempt.

Bernard was making his third career start for Utah after arriving on campus as a transfer in August 2018.

Utah also nominated running back Zack Moss, punter Ben Lennon and defensive end Mika Tafua for honors. The Pac-12 this season has added weekly awards for the top freshman (Lennon’s category), defensive lineman (Tafua’s nomination) and offensive lineman, in addition to the traditional offense, defense and special teams honors.