Two SJSU players earn Mountain West honors in season opener

Nick Starkel dominated the Southern Utah defense in the Spartans' win.

Two SJSU players earn Mountain West honors in season opener

Following the kickoff of the 2021-22 college football season, two San Jose State seniors have been awarded Player of the Week honors, the Mountain West Conference announced Monday.

Spartans quarterback Nick Starkel was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, and punter Will Hart was tabbed as the Special Teams Player of the Week.

Starkel completed 16 passes for 394 yards and four touchdowns in three quarters during San Jose State’s 45-14 win over Southern Utah. He rushed for a fifth touchdown on a one-yard run for the first score of the game. Starkel, who transferred from Arkansas before the 2020 season, led touchdown drives of 80, 79, 66, 70 and 65 yards on San Jose State’s first five possessions, giving the Spartans a 35-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

To earn Special Teams Player of the Week, Hart averaged 40 yards on two punts. Both pinned Southern Utah near their own goal line. The first was fair caught at the 11-yard line and the second was caught at the 7-yard line.

While this is a strong start for the Spartans (1-0) after an exciting 2020-21 campaign, it should be noted they did not have much competition for the conference honors as only three of the Mountain West’s teams played games this past weekend — a soft launch to the college football season.

Week 1 is next weekend, when San Jose State will face No. 15 USC on Saturday.