STEPHENVILLE — It didn’t take long for the Tarleton State football team to earn some individual recognition this season.
The United Athletic Conference announced Monday their first ever Players of the Week awards, and of the four honorees, Tarleton State earned half. Texan defensive back Patrick Jones was named the UAC Defensive Player of the Week, and Texan kicker/punter Adrian Guzman was named the UAC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Jones and Guzman helped Tarleton State to a 52-34 win on the road at McNeese Saturday to begin the season 1-0.
This is Guzman’s fourth career weekly award, having been named Western Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week twice in 2022 and once in 2021. This is Jones’ first weekly award since joining the Purple and White last season.
Jones had a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown that sealed the game in the fourth quarter on Saturday. He also had a team-high seven tackles and a pass breakup. Jones had the only interception return for a touchdown in the UAC this week. He also has the longest interception return for a touchdown this season across all of FCS, and the second longest interception return for a touchdown across all of NCAA Division I, across both FBS and FCS. Jones had the most tackles by a UAC player who also recorded an interception in a game this week, and he became the first Texan with a defensive touchdown scored in the season opener since 2018.
Guzman made all eight of his kicks, splitting the uprights on a 41-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, plus he went 7-of-7 on extra points. He also had three punts cover 118 yards (39.3 average), with a long of 45 yards and a punt inside the 20-yard line. Guzman’s 41-yard field goal make is his longest since Sept. 10, 2022, at TCU (47 yards).
Also announced Monday, North Alabama’s Takairee Kenebrew and Abilene Christian’s Xavier Wishert were named the UAC Offensive and Freshman Players of the Week, respectively.
2023 Tarleton State FB UAC Player of the Week Awards:
Week 1, Defensive and Special Teams – Patrick Jones and Adrian Guzman at McNeese