Air Force — Jamari Bellamy, CB
The Falcons, like Utah State and others, have battled their fair share of injuries in the first several weeks of the season and that has provided opportunities for new athletes like the sophomore Bellamy, who made his first start of the year against Wyoming in Week 3 and then played 18 snaps in the victory over Nevada last Saturday.
According to Pro Football Focus, Bellamy’s 62.8 coverage grade has been a little better than the starter for whom he’s covered in recent days, Eian Castonguay (55.8), so that’s a timeshare worth watching should the latter fully recover his health.
Fresno State — Chrishawn Gordon, S
Logan Fife is probably going to cause writers to spill more proverbial ink while replacing star quarterback Jake Haener, but Gordon’s role in replacing Evan Williams at safety is arguably more important. The Bulldogs were lucky to avoid more serious injuries, as head coach Jeff Tedford described the most recent dings as “week to week” in general, and Gordon will have the perfect opportunity to get his feet wet against a lackluster UConn offense and establish himself as valuable depth (and possibly more in the long term) alongside others like Elijah Gates.
San Jose State — Chase Williams, S
One of the few new faces on a veteran Spartans defense, the USC transfer has made the most of a starting opportunity in the South Bay, notching an interception in his first start at Auburn two weeks ago and then picking up eight tackles in Saturday’s home win over Western Michigan. Though two games is a small sample size, it’s nonetheless intriguing that Williams has thus far posted a better overall PFF grade (70.8) than safety counterpart Tre Jenkins (66.4), meaning that he could be a key piece in keeping the Wyoming offense off-balance this weekend.
Wyoming — Nofoafia Tulafono, C
The sophomore heir apparent to Keegan Cryder has stepped in and held his own through the first month of the season. Pro Football Focus noted that he has played 319 snaps, the third-most among Mountain West centers, and excelled in pass protection with a 82.2 grade that ranks second among his conference peers. In an offense that will want to remain balanced against a stingy San Jose State defense, that may come in handy.