Welcome to our first week of college football superlatives at Dave Campbell's Texas Football. We're picking the best of the state's college football in Week 1.
Coverboy of the Week: QB Frank Harris, UTSA
Description: Most outstanding player of the week.
UTSA coach Frank Wilson was optimistic about his offense this season. After watching Harris in action for the first time on Saturday, it’s no wonder. Harris looked like an actual Roadrunner while dicing up the Incarnate Word defense for 206 passing yards, 123 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Even his eight incompletions weren’t really his fault. UTSA only had one 200-yard passing game in 2018. A UTSA player hasn’t thrown for three touchdowns since Oct. 7, 2017.
Defensive Player of the Week: LB Garret Wallow, TCU
Description: Defensive player who stood out.
TCU’s offense didn’t look great, but don’t blame Wallow. He posted 13 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack against Arkansas-Pine Bluff to help keep the Golden Lions to just one score. Wallow is starting next to La’Kendrick Van Zandt, who was expected to play safety until Montrel Wilson suffered a career-ending injury. Wallow’s presence will bring stability to the position group.
Break in Case of Emergency: TE Jason Pirtle, North Texas
Description: Backup who came in and starred.
Usual starting tight end Kelvin Smith was ruled out before the game against Abilene Christian, but Mason Fine’s high school teammate Jason Pirtle was ready to go in his place. All Pirtle did was catch three touchdowns in the first half and post 88 yards in a 51-31 rout of ACU.
Swiss Army Knife: RB Trestan Ebner, Baylor
Description: Player who stood out in multiple areas.
Ebner is listed at running back, but has played a variety of roles during his Baylor career. Against SFA, Ebner opened the game with a 16-yard touchdown reception, one of his five catches on the day. He only rushed the ball twice. One was a 21-yard touchdown, and the other was an 11-yard touchdown where he reverses field just four minutes later. No matter where Ebner lines up, he’s a threat to break free.
Michael Dickson Award: KR Deion Hair-Griffin
Description: Player who made special teams fun this week.
Hair-Griffin, a roommate of Pirtle and Fine’s, decided he desperately needed to get in on the fun. The junior took the first kickoff back 60 yards to set up an easy 32-yard touchdown pass between his two roommates. Later, Hair-Griffin took a kickoff and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown. His final stats for the day: two kick returns for 157 yards and a touchdown. Not bad.
The Rookie: DE Ochaun Mathis, TCU
Description: Standout first-year player.
Mathis was hyped as the future of the TCU defensive line, and he was every bit as good as advertised against UAPB. The redshirt freshman from Manor posted seven tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss to help create havoc against the Golden Lions offense. TCU lost its two top defensive ends after last season. Mathis is viewed as the solution heading forward.
Remember the Name: WR Brennan Eagles, Texas
Description: New face who will be a big factor heading forward.
Louisiana Tech’s defensive backs criticized Texas wide receivers for struggling against the press. In his first major rotational action, Eagles put those concerns to bed. Eagles caught three passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns in a big win over the Bulldogs’ talented secondary. The Alief Taylor product played last season, but expect the 6-foot-4, 225-pound specimen to take many of the touches that Lil’Jordan Humphrey had last season.
Small College Star: RB Dawonya Tucker, Prairie View A&M
Description: A sub-FCS player or team that you need to know after this week.
Prairie View running back Dawonya Tucker obliterated Texas Southern in the first Labor Day Showdown in several years. He needed only 11 carries to explode for 188 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Panthers in a 44-23 win. There aren’t many better backfields in the state than Tucker and quarterback Jalen Morton.
Dave’s Pick: WR Reggie Roberson, SMU
Description: Could be anything. It’s completely up to us.
With the ballgame tied 16-16 soon after the half against Arkansas State, Roberson went to work. The Red Wolves were blanketing top receiver James Proche. Roberson took full advantage. He caught a 46-yard pass to get SMU into the red zone, and then later caught a 29-yarder that was downed at the 1. Facing 3rd-and-11 in the fourth, Roberson exploded for a 51-yard reception to flip the field and eventually set up a game-clinching touchdown. Roberson didn’t score a touchdown, but SMU needed every bit of his 11 catches for 180 yards.
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