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Alejandro Mata

As Coach Prime notes, Alejandro Mata ‘don’t miss’

Alejandro Mata highlights Week 6 roundup of Latinos in college football

Alejandro Mata raised his arms triumphantly after drilling the go-ahead field goal for Colorado with 43 seconds left to play Saturday night at Arizona State. Then it got even better. 

As the native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, reached Deion Sanders, Coach Prime pushed him back and told him to get his shine on. The sophomore transfer from Jackson State obliged with a few dance moves, showing that even the kickers at Colorado have swag.

“I told him, ‘Do your thing. Do your thing. Get your shine on. It’s your moment, baby. Live it,’” Sanders told the media after the 27-24 victory. 

Coach Prime mentioned earlier this season that “Mata don’t miss.” Alejandro Mata delivered yet again with the most clutch kick of his career.

Alejandro Mata ‘don’t miss’ 

“Mata is Mata,” Sanders said. “You guys didn’t believe in Mata. I believe in Mata. Why you think I brought him here? Mata don’t miss. You can call a timeout to freeze him all you want. That don’t mean nothing to Mata.

“Mata, that’s who he is. He always says to me when I walk over to give him a hug, he says, ‘I don’t miss.’ And I love it.”

Alejandro Mata, who immigrated to the United States in 2016, hit a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter. His 43-yarder with 38 seconds left to play gave Colorado a 27-24 victory. Mata added three PATs. 

Arizona State coach Kenny Dillingham called a timeout right before Mata’s game-winning field goal. The attempt to freeze Mata didn’t work.

Alejandro Mata even sounded like Coach Prime afterward when asked about the timeout.

“I got ice in my veins, man,” Alejandro Mata told Thee Pregame Show. “Like, come on, bro. You can’t ice something that’s already ice. You know what I’m sayin’.”

For his clutch performance, Alejandro Mata is Our Esquina’s Latino College Football Player of the Week for Week 6. He’s the first kicker to earn Our Esquina’s Player of the Week honors in the two years of our weekly recap of the Latinos in Division I football.

Offensive Player of the Week: Thomas Castellanos

Boston College quarterback Thomas Castellanos led the Eagles in rushing and passing yards. He was only 4-for-7 in passing attempts for 73 yards and one interception. Castellanos also rushed for 142 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries in a 27-24 victory over Army.

Oregon State running back Damien Martinez rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He added a 16-yard reception to help the Beavers beat Cal 52-40. Cal quarterback Fernando Mendoza was 21-for-32 pass attempts for 207 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The freshman from Miami also rushed for 41 yards on four carries.


Iowa’s Sebastian Castro learned patience, love early

Lineman Raymond Pulido settles in at Arizona

Gallegos, Woodyard, Sanchez highlight Latino High School All-America Football Team

Kansas State sophomore running back Anthony Frias had one catch for two yards in the 29-21 loss to Oklahoma State. South Alabama backup quarterback Gio Lopez completed 7 of 10 pass attempts for 84 yards and one touchdown in a 55-7 victory over UL Monroe.

Wyoming’s Ryan Marquez had two catches for 24 yards in a 24-19 victory over Fresno State. UCLA senior receiver Logan Loya had six catches for 46 yards and one touchdown. He added a 16-yard punt return in a 25-17 victory over Washington State. 

Freshman receiver Carlos Hernandez had two catches for 15 yards for Washington State. Notre Dame freshman receiver Rico Flores Jr. made three catches for 13 yards in a 33-20 loss against Louisville. 

Xavier Restrepo shines for Miami

Miami’s Xavier Restrepo made 12 catches for a game-high 123  yards in the 23-20 loss to Georgia Tech. Texas Tech running back Cam’Ron Valdez rushed for 21 yards on six carries in a 39-14 victory over Baylor. Kent State running back Gavin Garcia had a carry for no yards in a 42-17 loss to Ohio. 

North Carolina State freshman wide receiver Kevin Concepcion had eight catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a six-yard run in a 48-41 victory over Marshall. Concepcion has already had two games with at least 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns this season.

UTSA’s Oscar Cardenas made five catches for 51 yards in a 49-34 victory over Temple. Western Carolina quarterback Cole Gonzales was 13-for-25 on pass attempts for three touchdowns. He added two carries for three yards in a 52-50 win over Chattanooga. 

North Carolina receiver Kamari Morales made two catches for 16 yards in a 40-7 victory over Syracuse. Wyoming receiver Ryan Marquez made two catches for 24 yards in a 24-19 victory over Fresno State. 

New Mexico State quarterback Diego Pavia threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He added 46 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in a 34-17 victory over Florida International. Southern Utah’s Gabe Nunez made three catches for 25 yards. 

Defensive Player of the Week: Josh Lopez

Linebacker Josh Lopez scooped a fumble and scored the first touchdown of his career to help Southern Utah beat Tarleton State 27-26. The junior from San Antonio rumbled for 23 yards for the winning touchdown for Southern Utah, which overcame a 20-0 deficit.

UCLA Kain Medrano had four tackles in the victory over Washington State. UCF sophomore defensive back Nikai Martinez had four tackles in a 51-22 loss to Kansas. Iowa’s Sebastian Castro had five tackles in the 24-10 victory over Purdue.

Washington State’s Ron Stone Jr. had seven tackles, including half a sack. Colorado State senior linebacker Justin Sanchez had a team-high 14 tackles in a 44-24 loss to Utah State.

Syracuse defensive lineman Denis Jaquez Jr. had two tackles in the 40-7 loss against North Carolina. He added a 14-yard punt return. New Mexico State’s Gabriel Inigues had one tackle. Texas Tech’s Bryce Ramirez had one tackle against Baylor. Marshall defensive lineman Jalil Rivera-Harvey had two tackles against N.C. State State.

Virginia Tech sophomore defensive end Keyshawn Burgos had three tackles, one for a loss, against Florida State. Javier Duran had three tackles for Kent State. Texas State’s Devin Martinez had two tackles in a loss to Louisiana.

Special Team Player of the Week: Alejandro Mata

Colorado kicker Alejandro Mata (see above). Miami kicker Andres Borregales made two field goals against Georgia Tech. Iowa State’s Chase Contreraz made two of three field goal attempts and three PATs in a 27-14 victory over TCU.

Texas Tech kicker Gino Garcia made a 37-yard field goal and made all four of his PATs. LSU kicker Damian Ramos hit two of three field attempts with a long of 48 yards. He added five PATs in the 49-39 victory over Missouri.

Southern Utah punter Alyas Vigil averaged 33 yards over two punts in a victory over Tarleton State. Adrian Guzman made two field goals and two extra points for Tarleton State in the loss. He also averaged 42.6 yards on his five punts, placing two inside of the 20-yard line with a long of 58 yards.

Wake Forest punter Ivan Mora averaged 46.2 yards on six punts in a 17-12 loss to Clemson. Old Dominion kicker Ethan Sanchez made a 31-yard field goal and was 2-for-2 on PATs in a 17-13 victory over Southern Miss. 

South Alabama kicker Diego Guajardo made two of three field goal attempts with a long of 46 yards. He added seven PATs. UCLA kicker RJ Lopez was 2-for-4 with two field goals against Washington State. He was also 1-for-2 in PATs. Idaho kicker Ricardo Chavez converted six PATs in a 55-7 victory over Cal Poly.

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