Playing on the road against the Michigan Wolverines might not be the ideal start for a backup center, but junior Austin Hayes of the Air Force Falcons impressed with his play in The Big House on Saturday, according to a report by David Ramsey of the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Hayes was called to fill in as starting center after Michael Husar went down with a left knee injury in the Falcons' season-opening 49-21 win over Idaho State on Sept. 1, according to the article, and at 6'2, 250-pounds, Hayes had to face towering 6'5, 308-pound Michigan defensive tackle Will Campbell in one of the biggest venues in college sports.
It was a matchup that had Hayes admittedly nervous, according to Ramsey's report:
I was very nervous. I've always had a nervousness before games but it was definitely more for that game.
After doing his part in piling up 290 rushing yards on the Wolverines in the 31-25 loss, however, Hayes held his own even better than he imagined:
I seemed to be playing fast, and I held my ground against that nose tackle - and he's really big - better than I ever would have dreamed. He's a big guy, and it was a dogfight with him.