STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics/SEC) – After becoming the first Mississippi State quarterback in five years to throw four touchdowns in a Southeastern Conference game this past Saturday against Arkansas, Tyler Russell was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. With his second weekly honor this season (Week 2 vs Auburn), Russell is the fourth player in school history to earn the weekly accolade twice in the same season (Jerious Norwood - 2004, Sleepy Robinson - 1991, Don Smith - 1986).
Russell led the Bulldogs to a 45-14 victory against the Razorbacks, finishing 19-of-32 for 274 yards and tied a career-high with four touchdowns. The 45 points were the most ever by a Bulldog team against Arkansas, while the 31-point victory was the largest margin of victory in the series for State.
One of five quarterbacks in the country with more than 20 touchdowns and less than five interceptions, Russell extended his single-season school record for passing touchdowns (21), while also breaking the single-season school records for completions (201), yards (2,523) and 200-yard passing games (seven). The Meridian, Miss., native also moved into second all-time for touchdowns responsible for in a single season (23) and total offense for a single season (2,553), while moving into third all-time with 333 pass attempts in a single season.
OTHER SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ANDRE HAL - Cornerback - VANDERBILT
• Hal posted five total tackles (four solos) and interception two passes in Vanderbilt’s 41-18 win over Tennessee. Vanderbilt’s pass defense held the Vols to 154 passing yards, which was 180 yards under Tennessee’s league-leading average of 334.0 yards per game. Hal had interception returns of 30 and 36 yards, both deep into Tennessee territory. The Commodore offense converted both “oskies” to quick touchdowns. He ranks second in the SEC this season with 13 passes defensed. The Commodores captured their fifth straight victory, and fifth win in the SEC, the most by a Vanderbilt squad since 1935.
SEC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ODELL BECKHAM, JR. - Return Specialist / Wide Receiver - LSU
• Beckham returned a punt 89 yards for a fourth quarter touchdown that helped propel LSU to a 41-35 come-from-behind win over Ole Miss. The 89-yard punt return came with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest and with the Tigers trailing, 35-28. Beckham finished the game with three punt returns for 109 yards and also caught two passes for 13 yards. The punt return for the touchdown brought back memories of Billy Cannon’s legendary fourth-quarter return that defeated Ole Miss in 1959 - same distance and same direction on field. He is now fifth in the SEC in punt return average, with 10.3 yards per return.
SEC OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK
P.J. LONERGAN - Center - LSU
• Lonergan played all 76 snaps against Ole Miss, despite playing the entire game with an arm injury. Lonergan had 10 knockdown blocks while not allowing a sack in the game. He helped pave the way for a Tiger offense that racked up 427 total yards (145 rushing, 282 passing). LSU had four offensive drives of 60-yards-or-more, converting three for touchdowns.
SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK
DONTE RUMPH - Defensive Tackle - KENTUCKY
• Rumph totaled five tackles (four solos) with a sack (-7 yards) and a caused fumble in Kentucky’s 34-3 win against Samford. In the second quarter, Rumph recorded a sack and knocked out the football, which Tristian Johnson returned 25 yards for a touchdown. The Wildcat defense limited Samford to -2 yards rushing on 27 attempts and recorded five sacks of Bulldog quarterbacks. Samford had 102 total offensive yards for the game.
SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
JOHNNY MANZIEL - Quarterback - TEXAS A&M
• Manziel completed 14-of-20 passes for 267 yards with three touchdowns and an interception and rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns in Texas A&M’s 47-28 win over Sam Houston State. Manziel became the first SEC player, first freshman and fifth NCAA FBS player to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season. He logged his eighth straight game with 300-or-more total yards, while breaking the school record for total offense in a season (4,161 yards).
OTHER OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES FROM WEEK 12
LB C.J. MOSLEY (Alabama) - Led Alabama with six total tackles with a tackle for loss against Western Carolina.
RB DENNIS JOHNSON (Arkansas) - Rushed for 88 yards on 15 carries against Mississippi State.
RB TRE MASON (Auburn) - Rushed for career-high 181 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries against Alabama A&M.
RB MIKE GILLISLEE (Florida) - Rushed for 122 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown against Jacksonville State.
QB AARON MURRAY (Georgia) - Completed 18-of-28 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns against Georgia Southern.
TB RAYMOND SANDERS (Kentucky) - Rushed for career-high 123 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown against Samford.
RB JEREMY HILL (LSU) - Rushed for 77 yards and a career-best three touchdowns against Ole Miss.
QB BO WALLACE (Ole Miss) - Collected career-high 161 receiving yards and two TDs on six catches against LSU.
C DILLON DAY (Mississippi State) - Had five knockdown blocks and had 88 percent blocking grade against Arkansas.
QB JAMES FRANKLIN (Missouri) - Completed 17-of-23 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns and no intercptions against Syracuse.
TB KENNY MILES (South Carolina) - Had career highs in carries (27) and yards rushing (127) with a touchdown against Wofford.
RS CORDARRELLE PATTERSON (Tennessee) - Returned punt 81 yards for a TD against Vanderbilt, accounting for 195 return yards (punt and kickoff).
WR UZOMA NWACHUKWU (Texas A&M) - Had four catches for 160 yards including 89-yard touchdown catch against Sam Houston State.
WR JORDAN MATTHEWS (Vanderbilt) - Had seven catches for 115 yards and two TDs against Tennessee.