‘All on me’: Marquez Stevenson took it upon himself to have a bounce back game against Navy
Beginning the season on the Biletnikoff Award watch list, which is given to the most outstanding receiver in college football, senior Marquez Stevenson, known as Speedy by his teammates due to his blazing fast speed, entered the 2020 season with high expectations
After a solid performance hauling in five receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown in Houston’s season opener against Tulane, Stevenson was completely absent the next week against BYU as he just caught one pass for 19 yards.
Stevenson was upset with his performance against BYU and Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen took some of the blame for not getting Stevenson as involved in the offense as he would have like to.
“Some of that last week was on me. I got to have more answers,” Holgorsen said. “If they’re doing things to take him out of the game with inside coverage and outside coverage, double coverage or whatever you want to call it I’ve got to do a better job of being able to be multiple with what we do offensively and get him the ball.”
The Sunday after the BYU game, Holgorsen and Stevenson had a long talk in which Holgorsen told Stevenson he should think of it as an honor when he gets double teamed but also discussed ways to get the 6-foot speedster more involved offensively when the opponent is putting multiple defenders on him.
After the talk, Stevenson prepared Navy with the motto “All on Me” which he wrote on the eye black he wore Saturday afternoon in Annapolis, Maryland.
“This game I had a different motto,” Stevenson said. “Last game I didn’t have a performance I wanted to have so this week all I was saying is that if I want to go out there and perform how I want to do it it’s all on me.”
And it seemed to work, as Stevenson bounced back in a major way against Navy catching nine passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think we did a really good job of getting him the ball tonight,” Holgorsen said in his post-game press conference. “Tune knows who he is and where he is and he’s going to make plays and so we’re going to get him targeted as much as we can.”
After the victory over Navy, junior quarterback Clayton Tune talked about how special it is to have an electric playmaker and weapon in Speedy on the field with him and the offense.
“He’s awesome,” Tune said. “He’s one of those game-breaking type players. … It’s nice that we have a guy who can take the top off and also do a lot of things underneath and run with the ball after catching it.”
While Stevenson took it upon himself to make his presence known against Navy, he also understands the importance of having other playmakers, including Tune and senior running Kyle Porter, around him and is appreciative of all they do for the offense.
“Having guys like that to back me up, it’s a blessing,” Stevenson said. “I’m going to try to help them out just as much as they try to help me out.”