Safety saves the game with key picks
Published: Monday, November 22, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07
What a difference a week makes.
Just last week in Waco, junior safety Trent Hunter was in the wrong spot at the wrong time twice. First, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin was able to find the right open space, leaving Hunter in the dust to give Baylor a 10-0 lead. Texas A&M blocked a field goal attempt to end the first half, but junior cornerback Terrence Frederick was stopped one yard short by Baylor freshman Brodie Trahan. The missed block? Trent Hunter.
But in front of 90,079 fans – a Texas A&M record – Trent Hunter rectified those mistakes and any others he made earlier in the year with two key interceptions in the Aggies 9-6 upset of ninth-ranked Nebraska.
The first came off of Cornhuskers back-up quarterback Cody Green who sailed a pass on 2nd-and-19 intended for senior tight end Mike McNeill. Hunter was in the right position to make the play and plucked the ball from the air and quickly planted his toe down on the west sideline to secure the turnover for the Aggies.
"He did a great job keeping his feet in-bounds [on the Green interception]," Head Coach Mike Sherman said. "I asked him ‘Were you in-bounds? Were you in-bounds?' I thought I saw his foot hit the ground. He said ‘Coach, I can't look down when I'm catching the ball.'"
Hunter very rarely gets interceptions, according to Head Coach Mike Sherman, but in one practice during the week leading to Nebraska, he pulled down three.
"It was like an omen that he was going to get a pick," Sherman said.
With the score still 3-3 in the second half, freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez returned from his ankle injury to lead the Cornhusker offense. On his second drive however, Martinez missed sophomore tight end Kyler Reed, and Hunter pulled down the pass from Reed's back shoulder for his second interception of the contest.
"I realized it would be a defensive battle, but I thought for sure one of these high powered offenses would get in there," senior linebacker Michael Hodges said.
Hunter's last interceptions came in 2008 in a 24-17 win over the Colorado Buffaloes, both in the fourth quarter. Since then, it's been a 26-game dry spell for the safety.
Did the practice from the week before have anything to do with the turnaround?
"Every football player in the world wants to believe `I'm a gamer, it doesn't matter how I practice,'" Hunter said. "But now I'm a firm believer in the `practice makes perfect' mentality."