Gueller, Gray headline FCS players of the week
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - The slew of upsets in the FCS were attention-grabbing enough this past weekend. The sizzling individual performances turned heads as well.
Consider this: three quarterbacks had over 550 yards of total offense, six players totaled at least 17 tackles and didn't even earn a conference player of the year award, and four kickers connected from 52 yards out to tie for the third-longest distance of the season.
Idaho State's Tanner Gueller, South Dakota's Andrew Gray, Portland State's Cody Williams and Central Arkansas' Luke Hales were in good company as they earned the STATS FCS National Players of the Week for Week 6 games ending Oct. 6:
NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tanner Gueller, Idaho State, QB, R-Sr., 6-3, 225, Rochester, Washington
As Idaho State renewed its rivalry with Idaho for the first time in 10 years, Gueller had a record performance in the Bengals' 62-28, Big Sky Conference victory. He completed 19 of 30 passes for 492 yards and a school-record eight touchdowns, posting a 289.1 passing efficiency rating that is second-best in the FCS this season. He had nine completions for 20 yards or more, including an 87-yard TD pass. Gueller also rushed for 81 yards on 11 carries to finish with 573 yards of total offense.
Honorable Mention: Phillip Baptiste, WR, Incarnate Word; Chandler Burks, QB, Kennesaw State; Chauncey Caldwell, QB, North Carolina Central; Juston Christian, WR, Marist; Geremy Hickbottom, QB, Grambling State; Devlin Hodges, QB, Samford; Drew Jean-Guillaume, RB, Central Connecticut State; D.J. Penick, RB, Murray State; Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State; Cortrelle Simpson, WR, Richmond; De'Shawn Waller, RB, Alcorn State; Delmon Williams, QB, Hampton
NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Andrew Gray, South Dakota, S, R-Sr., 6-2, 215, New Lenox, Illinois
For the second straight week, Gray earned top defensive honors in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. He led South Dakota to a 35-28 win over then-No. 24 Missouri State, with 10 tackles, three forced turnovers and three pass breakups. He forced a fumble inside the Coyotes' 20, intercepted a pass to set up his offense for a touchdown and forced a second fumble which led to a field goal. His final pass breakup occurred on a fourth down inside Coyotes' territory with 18 seconds remaining.
Honorable Mention: Thomas Costigan, LB, Bryant; D.J. Curtis, LB, Sam Houston State; Rocco Di Leo, DE, Dartmouth; Tre'Shun Floyd, LB, Samford; Nate Howard, DE, Austin Peay; Darron Johnson, LB, Alabama State; Chris Livings, DE, McNeese
NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cody Williams, Portland State, PK, Fr., 5-10, 180, Murrieta, California
Williams drilled the kick heard 'round the FCS world on Saturday. The true freshman's 52-yarder with four seconds remaining took down then-No. 14 Montana 22-20 in the Big Sky Conference. Portland State had lost 17 straight games to Division I opponents, 12 in a row in the conference and its last 10 on the road. Williams also made field goals of 22 and 43 yards to finish 3-for-3 and averaged 59 yards on six kickoffs.
Honorable Mention: Abu Daramy-Swaray, PR/DB, Colgate; Kenny Doak, PK, Maine; Malik Hamner, DL/ST, Jackson State; Nick Madonia, PK, Tennessee Tech; Shane Simpson, KR/RB, Towson; Taheeb Sonekan, DL/ST, Penn; Cyron Sutton, PR/WR, McNeese; Chase Vinatieri, PK, South Dakota State
NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Luke Hales, Central Arkansas, QB, R-Fr., 6-2, 231, Greenwood, Arkansas
All "Hales" the new Central Arkansas quarterback. Making his first start because of injuries to two other signal callers, Hales threw a 65-yard touchdown on his first career pass, and accounted for five more in a 66-35 win over Houston Baptist in the Southland Conference. He was 16 of 27 for 304 yards, five touchdowns and one interception, and scored on a 2-yard run. The Bears' point total was their highest since 2004.
Honorable Mention: Jack Cook, QB, Dayton; Jon Copeland, QB, Incarnate Word; Noah Gettman, P, Sacred Heart; Quay Holmes, RB, ETSU; Alijah Jackson, RB, Robert Morris; Zack Monson, LB, Elon; Skyler Perry, QB, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Zion Webb, QB, Jacksonville State
Updated October 8, 2018