Welcome to Big 12 DieHards’ Week 1 Special Teams Player of the Week. There were a number of exciting performances across the Big 12 from special teams standouts, but we picked one that stood apart.
Also check out our other Big 12 player of the week awards:
- Offensive player of the week Baker Mayfield
- Defensive player of the week Joe Dineen
- Newcomer of the week Will Grier
Texas CB Holton Hill
Result: Texas lost to Maryland 51-41
We debated giving either defensive player of the week or special teams player of the week to Texas cornerback Holton Hill. Despite the horrific defensive performance by Texas overall, Hill was consistently great, both on defense and special teams.
The play that won him this honor came on a key fourth down play. Down 27-7, and without any momentum, the Longhorns blocked a field goal. Hill picked up the ball and ran it back 65 yards for a key Longhorns touchdown. The score cut Maryland’s lead to 27-14, and appeared to change the momentum momentarily in Austin.
Soon, Texas clawed back to bring the score within 30-27. The Longhorns eventually lost the game in disappointing fashion, but Hill was marvelous. He also had a pick-six 80 seconds into the game. It was an inspired performance from a kid who hails from an afflicted part of Houston. It was a tremendous effort to play a strong game for his city.
- Kansas State kicker Matt McCrane nails 2-of-3 field goals, including a 53-yard field goal. He also nailed all seven of his extra point attempts.
- Texas punter Michael Dickson only had two punts, but they went for 64 and 52 yards against Maryland. The Longhorns can’t blame field position for bad defense.
- Kansas State defensive back D.J. Reed posted 62 punter return yards and another 119 kick return yards – in addition to a pick-six at defensive back.
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