Six secondary standouts from football’s weekend that was:
Morgan Burns, CB, Kansas State (NCAA) — After his defense allowed Oklahoma State to easily march down the field and score on the opening possession of Saturday’s game, Burns took matters into his own hands on special teams. His 86-yard kickoff return began a barrage of 45 unanswered points by the Wildcats in what would be a 48-14 victory. Burns, a junior cornerback, also had six tackles.
Arizona Cardinals (NFL) — So what if they did it against Brandon Weeden and not Tony Romo? The Cards’ secondary was the difference in Sunday’s 28-17 win over the Cowboys. Safety Tyrann Mathieu had a third-quarter interception in the red zone that prevented Dallas from getting a go-ahead score; cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s fourth-quarter INT set up the Arizona TD that essentially sealed the victory; and cornerback Patrick Peterson was the man primarily responsible for holding Cowboys star wideout Dez Bryan to just two catches for 15 yards.
Reshad Jones, FS, Dolphins (NFL) — Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” has bigger names and lays bigger hits, but Miami’s un-nicknamed group of DBs is playing better than any secondary unit in pro football right now. In Sunday’s 37-0 shutout of the Chargers, Jones was the standout with a team-high five tackles and two interceptions.
Richard Sherman, CB, Seahawks (NFL) — Not to be outdone, Sherman had three tackles, two pass breakups and an interception in Sunday’s 30-24 win over the Raiders. It seems every time Sherman allows a catch there’s some commentary about him being “exposed.” So to be fair, every time he takes the ball away from the offense, it should reaffirm his status as the best corner in the game.
Brandon Stewart, HB, Hamilton (CFL) — His third-quarter 30-yard interception return for a touchdown put the Tiger-Cats ahead for good in Friday’s 34-25 win over Ottawa, which kept Hamilton in the Canadian Football League’s playoff picture for another week. Stewart, a defensive halfback, added five tackles.
Tavon Young, CB, Temple — The unranked Owls’ 20-10 upset of No. 23 East Carolina on Saturday was short on highlights. One of them was Young’s 63-yard fumble return touchdown that broke a scoreless tie in the first quarter.