ABCs of College Football: Demond Demas, Qua Gray, Hail Mary, Casey Thompson

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Welcome back to the ABCs of college football in the state of Texas. 

Every Monday, Mike Craven from Dave Campbell’s Texas Football will walk you through quick-hitters from an action-packed weekend of football. 

Week 3 featured an upset by Incarnate Word, a rebound by the Longhorns, and an impressive start to the Big 12 schedule by the Baylor Bears. 

Alton McCaskill – The Houston Cougars running back finished with 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win over Grambling on Saturday. That doubled his touchdown total on the season. McCaskill entered the game with 45 yards rushing on 19 attempts.  

Bears offensive line – Baylor is becoming a dark horse candidate in the Big 12 and it starts with its offensive line. The Bears rushed for 6.8 yards a carry on 45 attempts and the unit didn’t allow a single sack. A bigger test awaits this weekend with Iowa State in town.  

Casey Thompson – Texas made a quarterback switch after the loss to Arkansas and Thompson didn’t disappoint. He led the Longhorns on five drives in six first-half possessions in his first career start finishing with 164 yards and two touchdowns on 15 of 18 passing. 

Demond Demas – Remember that name? Demas was a five-star recruit out of the Houston area who couldn’t play his senior year of high school and didn’t get on the field in 2020 for the Aggies. He made his first start on Saturday in a win over New Mexico and made an immediate impact with a 70-yard touchdown catch. Demas finished the game with 100 yards receiving. 

Elite – The UTSA offense, most notably Sincere McCormick, and head coach Jeff Traylor receive most of the buzz surrounding the Roadrunners in 2021, but the defense is proving to be the real strength of the team. UTSA shut out Middle Tennessee State for three quarters and didn’t allow its opponent to break the 100-yard mark of total offense until the fourth quarter. 

Five – Four different quarterbacks at the sub-FBS level threw for five touchdowns over the weekend: Dillon Sterling-Cole, Tucker Horn, Landon McKinney and General Booty. 

Grant Calcaterra – The SMU tight end, and Oklahoma transfer, caught a career-high seven passes for 103 yards. He’s become the security blanket of quarterback Tanner Mordecai, a fellow Oklahoma transfer. 

Hail Mary – Is there a more exciting way for a game to end than on a successful Hail Mary? SMU would say no after Mordecai found Reggie Roberson Jr. on the final play in the 39-37 win at La Tech. Mordecai threw for 395 yards and five touchdowns in the win. 

Incomplete – North Texas quarterbacks Austin Aune and Jace Ruder combined to throw 20 incompletions in the 40-6 loss to UAB. The Mean Green managed just 14 completions and 99 yards of passing in the game. 

Jahmyl Jeter – One of the lone bright spots for Texas State in the loss to FCS program Incarnate Word was the short-yardage running ability of Jeter, who scored two one-yard touchdown runs in the first half. He finished with 46 yards on six carries. 

Koontz – People like me who grew up watching Texas Tech under Mike Leach are always surprised when a tight end finds himself in a prominent role. Red Raiders tight end Travis Koontz caught two touchdown passes during the first half in the win over FIU.  

Leal – The Texas A&M defensive line is a force of nature and it starts with Leal, a future first round pick in the NFL Draft. Leal recorded 1.5 sacks in the win over New Mexico and is clearly the best defensive lineman in Texas. 

Marquis Waters – With the Texas Tech offense starting slow for its standards, it was the defense that provide a spark when Waters returned an interception 72 yards for a touchdown. It was the fifth interception for Texas Tech in 2021, matching its total from the entire 2020 season. 

Nathaniel Omayebu III – The Angelo State running back rushed for 161 yards on 17 attempts, averaging 9.5 yards per carry in a loss to Midwest. 

Open week – TCU and UTEP were off for Week 3. The Horned Frogs host SMU this Saturday with UTEP taking on a beatable New Mexico squad. 

Parker – Howard Payne wide receiver Jake Parker caught seven passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-21 win over Hendrix to move to 3-0 on the season. 

Qua Gray – The Navarro quarterback went 29 of 44 for 521 yards and two touchdowns in a loss unbeaten New Mexico Military Institute. 

R.J. Sneed – The Bears destroyed Kansas 45-7 to open conference play and Sneed, a senior wide receiver from Cypress, led the team with six catches for 128 yards and a score. 

SAGU – Running back Keaton Dudik rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries over Millsaps College to move to 2-1 on the year. 

Throw up the Z – Zakhari Franklin is the best wide receiver in UTSA history, and he keeps increasing the gap between his peers. In the win over Middle Tennessee State, Franklin caught eight passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. 

Underwhelming – No one expected Rice to go to Austin and beat the Longhorns, but it was a second consecutive disappointing performance for the Owls. Rice entered the fourth quarter in Week 1 tied with Arkansas at 17. Since then, Rice was outscored 123-7 in the last nine quarters. 

Victory party – Incarnate Word scored its first win over an FBS program in a 42-34 victory over Texas State. Quarterback Cameron Ward threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Ferrel caught 10 of those passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. 

Worthy – The Longhorns need weapons at wide receiver and true freshman Xavier Worthy might become the go-to target at Texas. He snagged a team-high seven passes for 88 yards and a touchdown in the lopsided win over Rice. 

Xavier Gipson – SFA wide receiver Xavier Gipson caught three passes for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added a 70-yard punt return in a 58-13 win over Mississippi Valley State. All of that was done in the first half. 

Year 3 – Texas State head coach Jake Spavital fell to 6-21 in his three seasons at Texas State following a loss at home to Incarnate Word. 

Zion Childress – Childress intercepted a pass for Texas State in the loss to Incarnate Word. It was the first interception for the Bobcats in the 2021 season. 

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