QB: Clayton Tune, Houston (Hebron)
Tune’s numbers were relatively modest, but he was tremendous stepping up for the redshirting D’Eriq King. The sophomore completed 80 percent of his passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, and added another 100 yards on the ground. Houston’s offense barely missed a beat; in some ways, it was even better.
RB: Xavier Jones, SMU (Spring)
Jones just continues to shred opposing defenses, even after entering conference play. The senior posted 155 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries in a demolition of USF in Tampa. Jones should start getting NFL looks real soon.
WR: Tyquan Thornton, Baylor
Iowa State quickly made the decision that Denzel Mims was not going to beat them. In his place, Thornton stepped up and made some massive plays to keep the Bears moving down the field. His 11 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown was the most important production Baylor got on Saturday.
TCU’s offensive line helped pave the way for a tremendously dominant rushing day. The Horned Frogs rushed for 319 yards and four touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry. Three players rushed for at least 50 yards, including true freshmen Daimarqua Foster and Darwin Barlow.
UT: Aston Walter, Rice (Crosby)
Rice has been desperately looking for good offense, and the Owls found it in the form of Walter against Louisiana Tech. Walter posted 112 yards and two touchdowns for the Owls, who forced perennial C-USA contender Louisiana Tech to overtime in a tough loss. If Walter keeps growing, the offense will only get more dangerous.
DL: Ross Blacklock, TCU (Fort Bend Elkins)
Blacklock was finally back to his dominant self against Kansas, posted 2.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks against the Jayhawks in a dominant defensive effort.
LB: Clay Johnston, Baylor (Abilene Wylie)
Johnston was everywhere on Saturday for Baylor, posting 13 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack, two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. He was at the center of Baylor’s shutout of Iowa State through three quarters.
DB: Damarion Williams, Houston
Mason Fine finished with big numbers, but the stats aren’t representative of how well Houston’s defense played. Williams helped contain top wideout Jaelon Darden to just 43 yards, and also posted a tackle for loss, two pass breakups and a forced fumble. Most of Fine’s yardage was to his slot receiver and tight end; the top two guys were held in check.
UT: Nikolas Daniels, Texas State (Clear Creek)
Daniels helped contain a prolific Nicholls offense to just three points against the Bobcats. He contributed all over the stat sheet, finishing with nine tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry in the 24-3 win.
The Cougars’ special teams unit as a whole was so special, everyone deserves mention. Bryson Smith posted a 60-yard punt return touchdown, and Marquez Stevenson followed up with an 82-yard kickoff return touchdown. Punter Dane Roy averaged 46.2 yards per punt and pushed three of his five punts inside the 20-yard line. Even Dalton Witherspoon nailed his lone field goal. It was a tremendous effort by the entire Houston roster.