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Tuesday, October 4, 2011
SEC Heisman watch: Week 6

By Chris Low

There's a new leader this week in our SEC Heisman watch, and he just happens to be one of the hottest running backs in the country:

1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: He's making his move, and you knew he would. Richardson has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his past four games. And in his past three, he's averaging 158 yards. He lit up Florida's heralded defense for a career-high 181 yards and two touchdowns. Richardson leads the SEC with 11 touchdowns, and he has 622 rushing yards through six games. As long as the Crimson Tide keep winning and he keeps putting up big numbers, he's a lock to be one of the finalists invited to New York City.

2. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: The last two games have been just OK by Lattimore's standards, but he's going to have plenty of chances to get it back rolling again. Lattimore still leads the SEC in rushing (135.4 yards per game) and all-purpose yards (163.2 yards per game). With the Gamecocks struggling to get anything out of their passing game, Lattimore will remain the centerpiece of their offense. The down side to that is that defenses will be able to key on him more than ever if South Carolina can't get its passing game going.

3. Mike Dyer, RB, Auburn: Dyer is probably living in a whirlpool this week after carrying the ball 41 times last week in the 16-13 win over South Carolina. It sounds like Auburn coach Gene Chizik wants to keep feeding the ball to Dyer, who's third in the SEC in rushing behind Lattimore and Richardson. Dyer has 567 yards through five games and has already carried the ball 103 times, which is second in the league to Lattimore's 124 carries.

4. Chris Rainey, RB, Florida: Alabama's defense put the clamps on Rainey last week. But, then, Alabama's defense does that to a lot of players. Rainey was held to 4 yards rushing on 11 attempts and caught three passes for 32 yards. He was also kept out of the end zone. Despite the off night, Rainey remains one of the most explosive players in this league and is a threat as a runner, receiver and returner and punt blocker on special teams. He's still fourth in the SEC in all-purpose yards (145.8 yards per game).

5. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee: The only thing Bray lacks is a signature win. His passing numbers stack up with any quarterback in the country, especially if you go back to last season. Bray leads the SEC in pass efficiency, passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes. He's thrown 14 touchdown passes this season, including four last week in the blowout win over Buffalo, and has thrown 32 over his past 10 games dating back to last season. If the Vols win a few of these big games in October, Bray will move near the top of this list.