During a pivotal Week 6 in Texas, defensive players took center stage. A pair of defensive linemen imposed their will on games, while unlikely quarterbacks led their teams in ranked matchups. We picked the best of the group.
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 you to take notice. Here are five players who earned those honors in Week 6.
QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Mond gets the lion’s share of criticism in College Station, but Saturday proved once and for all that Texas A&M will go as far as Mond can take them. Against No. 4 Florida, Mond put together his finest performance to date.
Mond completed 71 percent of his passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns in a mammoth performance. He threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Chapman to tie the game with 4:30 remaining and then added a pass to Chase Lane to set up a game-winning field goal. Did Mond turn a corner?
DE Payton Turner, Houston (Houston Westside)
Turner had high expectations as a senior starter. However, his performance against Tulane’s vaunted option attack was absolutely freaky. The Westside product dominated Tulane’s line, finishing with seven tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a QB hurry.
The Green Wave posted more than 100 rushing yards in 56 straight games, but that streak ended on Thursday. The 31 Tulane points disguised that Houston held the Green Wave to just 17 offensive points and 211 yards. Turner was the ultimate centerpiece of the dominant defensive effort.
WR Jaelon Darden, North Texas (Houston Eisenhower)
While North Texas struggled mightily against Charlotte, Darden put together the best game of his career. The senior caught 13 passes for 244 yards and all three UNT touchdowns in a 49-21 loss.
The senior from Houston is undersized but has proven that he can be a valuable possession receiver, but also has the breakaway ability to make NFL scouts salivate. Darden caught touchdowns of 28, 43 and nine yards. When Austin Aune is in the game, Darden’s numbers have exploded.
DL Praise Amaewhule, UTEP (Katy Taylor)
Heading into 2020, we heard high expectations of Amaewhule, even that he could be the best player on UTEP’s roster. Against Louisiana Tech, Amaewhule looked everything the part of a future NFL lineman.
Amaewhule dominated Louisiana Tech to the tune of 3.5 sacks and five tackles. His individual defensive effort helped contain the Bulldogs to just 210 total yards and 3.0 yards per play on their home field. UTEP’s offense needs to be better, but this was an encouraging defensive performance.
QB Lowell Narcisee, UTSA
When Narcisse played last season, it wasn’t encouraging. The former LSU QB completed just 53 percent of his passes and threw for more than 250 yards just once. But when he was thrown in against a rolling BYU squad, Narcisse played the best 60 minutes of his career.
The junior completed 17 of 20 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns to keep the Roadrunners in the game against BYU. He threw touchdowns of 32 and 34 yards in the fourth quarter. It’s valuable to learn that UTSA has three quarterbacks on the roster it can turn to if needed.
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