SEC Ballers of the Week, Week 12
Over the last 14 days, college football has been turned on its head in dramatic fashion.
In a weeks' time, Alabama has gone from practically being eliminated from championship contention to now being the frontrunner to play Notre Dame in the BCS title game. No, it's not 1992, you read that correctly.
It was a relatively dull week for the SEC. Most teams hosted sub-par competition in anticipation of several upcoming and intense "Rivalry Week" games.
A few in-conference highlights of Week 12 were Derek Dooley's firing, Ole Miss keeping it tantalizingly close with LSU on the road, and the continued rise to prominence of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Who around the league spent his weekend ballin' out a little under the radar?
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
It was all business for Aaron Murray and his Dawgs on Saturday.
The junior field general led his team to a victory over Georgia Southern, an FCS team that had misconceptions of actually hanging around any further than the first quarter. Murray passed for 330 yards on 18 completions. He totaled four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Bulldogs fans are hoping that is championship-level efficiency.
Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
With starting quarterback Jeff Driskel out of Saturday's game against Jacksonville State with an ankle injury, the Gators relied heavily on the ground-and-pound offense.
Coach Will Muschamp free'd Gilly, who ran the ball 20 times and totaled 122 yards on the ground with one touchdown.
Gillislee is only 36 yards away from being Florida's first 1,000 yard rusher since Ciatrick Fason reached the mark in 2004.
Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
Auburn now has three wins on the year. However, still no SEC victories to be had.
Running back Tre Mason keeps on pounding the ball for the Tigers. Mason rushed for a career-high 181 yards on a paltry 12 carries and two touchdowns.
Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU
Odell Beckham Jr. saved the day in Death Valley over the weekend.
The SEC special teams Player of the Week returned a game-changing 89 yard punt for a score in the fourth quarter to help bring the Tigers back into the game against upstart Ole Miss. The sophomore returned three punts during the game for 109 yards
Beckham Jr.'s 89 yard punt return was eerily similar to Tigers legend Billy Cannon's game-winning punt return on Halloween 1959.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Thankfully we now know that Johnny Football is somewhat human.
The SEC Freshman of the Week connected with Uzoma Nwachukwu for a 89-yard touchdown pass. Manziel stayed on the field to kick the point-after attempt, which he shancked wide right. This was essentially the only blemish on Manziel's day. The young quarterback sensation completed 14 passes for 267 yards and three passing scores, as well as 100 yards rushing with two touchdowns.
Johnny Football is the first SEC player in the history of the conference to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards.
It may be a little premature to say, but I think that Cam Newton and Tim Tebow will be getting Johnny Football pajamas for Christmas this year.
Dennis Johnson, RB, Arkansas
It would have been nice if the Hogs could have picked up some momentum heading into this Friday's rivarly game against the LSU Tigers.
Instead, the Razorbacks were totally throttled by the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Hogs' running back Dennis Johnson put together a pretty solid day with 88 yards on 15 carries.
The season can't end soon enough for this program.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Derek Dooley era in Knoxville is officially over.
It must have been pretty hard for Vols fans to watch traditional cellar-dweller Vanderbilt take Tennessee behind the woodshed and beat them in their you know what. Cordarrelle Patterson did all he could in the kicking game for the Volunteers. Patterson totaled 195 yards in kick and punt return yards. His biggest highlight was a 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.
C.J Mosley, LB, Alabama
One week the Crimson Tide are reeling from an upset at the hands of Texas A&M, the next week they are poised to play in the BCS National Championship game.
C.J Mosley certainly took out his frustration on lowly Western Carolina Saturday. The linebacker racked up six tackles (one for loss) in a game that saw most of the Tide's backups in before halftime.
Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt
The 30-year home losing streak to the Tennessee Volunteers is finally over.
Andre Hal and the the Commodores defense had no problem shutting down the Vols Saturday night. Hal, himself was outstanding on the historic night for the program. The defensive back amassed five total tackles and snagged two picks that he returned deep into Tennessee territory. The Commodores held the Volunteers to only 154 passing yards, which was 180 yards under their average of 334.0.
Hal was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his outstanding performance.
Tyler Russell, QB, Mississippi State
Offensive Player of the Week Tyler Russell is writing his name into the Mississippi State record books week by week.
Russell is now the Bulldogs' single-season record holder in completions (201), yards (2,523), 200-yard passing games (seven) and passing touchdowns (21).
Against Arkansas Russell went 19-for-32 with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Ole Miss Offense
Ole Miss was much better prepared this year against the Tigers than last year's 52-3 blowout
The Rebels offense put up an unbelievable 463 yards against a defense that is loaded with future NFL talent. Ole Miss passed for 316 yards and rushed for 147 yards in a thrilling game that took all 60 minutes to settle.
Kenny Miles, RB, South Carolina
Overall, it was a very slow game for the Gamecocks against Wofford Saturday.
One man, however, came to play, and in replacement of injured star Marcus Lattimore. Running back Kenny Miles had a career day for the 'Cocks. He set a personal best for carries (27) and rushing yards (127) while also scoring a touchdown.
James Franklin, QB, Missouri
It may have been a better idea if the Tigers just stayed in the BIG XII.
The loss to Syracuse pretty much shows what kind of season it has been for Mizzou.
Quarterback James Franklin had a solid game. He passed for 279 yards on 17 completions, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Donte Rumph, DT, Kentucky
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week Donte Rumph and his Kentucky teammates sent Joker Philips off with a victory.
Rumph played exceptionally well against Samford. The defensive tackle finished the game with five tackles (four solo), and a fumble-causing sack that was picked up and returned for a touchdown in the second quarter by teammate Tristian Johnson. The Wildcats held Samford to -2 rushing yards on 27 attempts.
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