Week 2 Helmet Stickers: Offensive playmakers take center stage

By Kelly Guess

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For the first time this season, the Power Five schools in the state got an opportunity to play college football. Of course, the two Big 12 schools that played were still completely outshined by the wackiness of smaller school football. 

When finding the superlatives of a weekend, it takes much more than just seeing a final score. It’s about standing out and exceeding expectations. Here are five players that deserve special recognition in the state of Texas after Week 2. 

RB Sincere McCormick, UTSA 

Before the season, we dubbed McCormick the best running back in Texas. He lived up to that and more in his season debut. The Converse Judson standout exploded through the line for 58 yards on UTSA’s first play of the game. He added another 58-yarder in the third quarter to set up another score. The final damage: 29 carries for 197 yards and a score in a statement 51-48 double-overtime win over rival Texas State. 

QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas

Sure, it was against UTEP, but it’s hard to be much better than 25-of-33 for 426 yards and five touchdowns against an FBS opponent, virtually all of it in the first half. It sure looks like Ehlinger and Mike Yurcich will be a beautifully perfect match. 

WR Marcell Barbee, Texas State

Every time Texas State needed a big play, it looked to the 6-foot-2 Barbee. Rated barely a two-star coming out of Iowa Western CC, Barbee stepped up in a major way in his first real collegiate action. The junior caught four passes, but each was huge. The first set up a scoring drive to pull the game to one score. The next got the Bobcats into the red zone and scored a huge jump ball touchdown. His last catch sent the game to double overtime. If Barbee can keep it up, Texas State finally has a legit jump ball receiver. 

QB Bailey Zappe, Houston Baptist

What is there to even say about Bailey Zappe? In his first game against a Power Five opponent, Zappe completed 30-of-49 passes for 567 yards and four touchdowns. Did I say that he’s a lower-level player who didn’t get any major offers? By the way, Zappe has played three FBS games over the past two seasons. He’s completed for 1,347 yards, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. Good luck with that in two weeks, Louisiana Tech. You messed up, entire FBS. 

LB Krishon Merriweather, Texas Tech

While Texas Tech’s defense struggled on the edge, Merriweather did an exceptional job leading the linebackers in his first start at the FBS level. The junior helped hold HBU to just 1.2 yards per carry and led the team with 12 tackles. Replacing Jordyn Brooks will be a team effort – and the Texas Tech defense has to get better overall – but Merriweather stepped in next to Riko Jeffers and Brandon Bouyer-Randle and proved he was ready to take on a leadership role.

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