For the third week in a row, Texas college football proved to be a showcase for the excitement Group of Five schools in the state. SMU and Texas State both picked up huge wins, while UTEP and UTSA showed major signs of improvement. Now, we’re bringing you the best of it.
When finding the superlatives of the weekend, it takes much more than just seeing a final score. It’s about standing out and exceeding expectations in a way that forces the state to take notice. Here are five players that earned those honors in Week 3.
RB Ulysses Bentley IV, SMU (Houston C.E. King)
Bentley beat North Texas in every way imaginable. He raced down the field for an 84-yard touchdown. He broke through the line for a 4-yard run. Bentley even added a 21-yard reception to help set up another 9-yard score.
When the dust settled, he rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns in the best Texan rushing performance of the young season. After losing Xavier Jones to the NFL, seeing Bentley and TJ McDaniel thrive so early in the year portends good things for the Mustangs.
WR Jeremiah Haydel, Texas State (Alief Taylor)
Last week, Marcell Barbee showed potential to make big-time catches. This week, returner Jeremiah Haydel could not be outdone. We’ve been waiting for Haydel to have his breakout moment, and posting six catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns in Texas State’s biggest FBS win in six years more than accomplishes that.
Haydel exploded for a 75-yard touchdown, and caught a 32-yard jumper for another score. Suddenly, Haydel is setting the tone for this receiver room.
DT Jaylon Haynes, UTSA (Wharton)
When UTSA defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix opted to play an odd front, having “Big Country” in the middle was a big reason why. Against SFA, Haynes showed that he can be one of the state’s best defensive players.
The senior from Wharton led the Roadrunners with three tackles for loss and two sacks from the middle of the line. He helped contain SFA’s talented rushers to just 2.1 yards per carry and forced the ball outside. Outside of a second quarter drive, UTSA’s defense played a fantastic game and Haynes was the centerpiece.
QB Shane Buechele, SMU (Arlington Lamar)
While Bentley was the breakout star of the North Texas game, Buechele’s perfect start set the tone early.
The Arlington senior completed passes to 10 different players – including himself – and had some gritty first down runs to put the game away. He finished with 344 passing yards, 29 rushing yards and five total touchdowns.
DE Praise Amaewhule, UTEP (Katy Taylor)
Amaewhule’s stats weren’t big – three tackles, 1.5 TFLs, one– but his presence was huge. The sophomore consistently caused trouble and forced extra help on the defensive line, which allowed teammates to get behind the line of scrimmage to the tune of seven team tackles for loss.
Plus, Amaewhule batted down a pair of passes from the line to help hold ACU’s offense to a relatively pedestrian day. The run-heavy Wildcats barely crossed the 100-yard threshold as a team, and Amaewhule’s pressure played a major role.
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