Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke, Coastal Carolina defensive back Dontavious Johnson, Georgia State punter Matt Hubbard, Northern Iowa quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen and Youngstown State receiver/running back Andre Stubbs have been named The Sports Network FCS National Players of the Week for the season-opening games which ended Sept. 2.
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion, Sophomore, 6-1, 195, QB, Atlanta, Ga.
Old Dominion totaled 723 yards in its 57-23 win over Duquesne, and Heinicke accounted for 530 yards on his own. After trailing 20-10 at halftime, the Monarchs offense exploded for 47 second-half points. Heinicke broke personal and school game-highs with 492 passing yards and 41 completions, helping the Monarchs tie a program mark for points in a game. Last year's runner-up for the Jerry Rice Award ended the game with four touchdown passes and 38 rushing yards.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dontavious Johnson, Coastal Carolina, Senior, 5-10, 175, DB, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Johnson entered the season with no career interceptions and just three pass breakups in his first three seasons at Coastal Carolina. All of that changed against North Carolina A&T as the Coastal Carolina senior recorded three interceptions and one pass breakup in the Chanticleers' 29-13 victory. Former Coastal cornerback Josh Norman, who was selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, witnessed in person as Johnson tied his school record of three interceptions in a game (Norman's brother Marrio also had three in a game). Johnson had two picks in the first half, one leading to a Coastal Carolina touchdown, the other to a Chanticleers field goal and a 17-0 advantage.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Matt Hubbard, Georgia State, Sophomore, 6-4, 230, P, Peachtree City, Ga.
One of the bright spots in Georgia State's 33-6 loss to South Carolina State was the record-setting performance of its sophomore punter. Hubbard had no problem setting a program-best 62.2-yard average on five punts. It would have been an NCAA FBS and FCS single-game record for punting average with a minimum of five punts, but the Panthers are in the process of transitioning from the FCS to FBS level, so any marks achieved during the 2012 and 2013 seasons will not count toward NCAA records. As it stands, the current FCS record for punting average in a game is 61.5 yards, accomplished by Idaho State's Eddie Johnson against Cal Poly in 2002. GSU's 6-foot-4, 230-pounder had punts of 58, 59, 55, 59 and a school-record 80-yard boot in his third punt of the night.
CO-FRESHMEN OF THE WEEK
Sawyer Kollmorgen, Northern Iowa, R-Freshman, 6-2, 215, QB, Jenks, Okla.
In his season debut as the Panthers' starting quarterback, Kollmorgen made coach Mark Farley a lot more comfortable with his team's uncertainty under center. The redshirt freshman completed 18-of-34 pass attempts for 265 yards and three touchdowns in Northern Iowa's 26-21, season-opening loss to defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin. Kollmorgen led a fourth-quarter comeback with two touchdown passes to running back David Johnson, cutting the Panthers' deficit from 26-7 to 26-21. Kollmorgen was the fifth freshman in UNI history to start at quarterback.
Andre Stubbs, Youngstown State, R-Freshman, 5-6, 160, WR/RB, Maple Heights, Ohio
Stubbs played in three games before he was sidelined with an injury at the start of last season. In Youngstown State's 31-17 victory at Pittsburgh, the undersized redshirt freshman came up big by rushing for 71 yards on six carries, catching four passes for 61 yards and returning two kickoffs for 40 yards. The 5-foot-6, 160-pound receiver/running back finished with 172 all- purpose yards in the Penguins' first win over an FBS program since 2000.