Sunday, November 29, 2009
SEC helmet stickers: Week 13
By Chris Low
What a wild end to the regular season with a couple of overtime games, Alabama rallying to beat Auburn with a clutch drive and Georgia taking down No. 7 Georgia Tech.
The helmet sticker decisions this week were tough, but here goes:
Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain: He’s the best defensive player on perhaps the best defense in the country. McClain was a rock for the Crimson Tide on Friday in their 26-21 win over Auburn. He finished with a game-high 12 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. His sack of Chris Todd on third down capped a huge three-and-out for Alabama in the fourth quarter, and McClain was also the one who spiked down Auburn’s last-ditch pass in the end zone on the final play of the game.
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow: Talk about going out in style. Tebow bid farewell to the Swamp with three touchdown passes and two touchdown runs. It was an emotional Saturday in Gainesville, and even Tebow had tears in his eyes before the game. But he played one of his most complete games of the season and finished with 311 yards of total offense in the 37-10 rout of Florida State.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen: His proclamation Saturday that Mississippi State’s program was the one in the state on the rise was more than just bold talk. Mississippi State whipped Ole Miss 41-27 and did so with a bunch of younger players (Chris Relf, Charles Mitchell, Corey Broomfield and Chad Bumphis) all playing key roles. The Bulldogs played a killer schedule this season and just missed becoming bowl eligible. Mullen and his staff did a terrific job of maximizing their talent, and the future certainly looks bright in Starkville.
Georgia’s offensive line: Georgia was looking for something to hang its hat on and found it in an offensive line that played its best football of the season Saturday in a 30-24 upset of No. 7 Georgia Tech on the road. The Bulldogs bullied the Yellow Jackets up front. Washaun Ealey had 183 rushing yards and Caleb King 166 yards in a dominant display of power football.
Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty: It’s been a memorable senior season and a memorable close to his senior season for Hardesty, who established a career high for the second straight week. He had 179 yards rushing on 39 carries and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime in a 30-24 win over Kentucky. Hardesty now has 1,306 yards for the season, which ranks as the fifth best single-season rushing total in school history. The school record is 1,464 yards, which was set by Travis Stephens in 2001.