Sunday, October 4, 2009
SEC helmet stickers: Week 5
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Auburn and LSU both responded to key road challenges, while Arkansas picked up a much-needed nonconference win.
There were some difficult choices in Week 5 when doling out the SEC helmet stickers, but here goes:
Auburn coach Gene Chizik: Remember all the quizzical looks and grumbling when it was first announced that Auburn was hiring a guy who’d gone 5-19 in his previous two years as a head coach? Nobody’s grumbling now on the Plains. The Tigers are 5-0 after winning Saturday night in their first road test of the season, a 26-22 victory over Tennessee. Chizik has these players believing, and they’re playing sound, disciplined and balanced football. They’re also playing as a team.
LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis: He was brought in by Les Miles to restore LSU’s proud defense to prominence. So far, it’s hard to argue with the results. LSU’s defense was dominant for much of the game Saturday in the 20-13 victory over Georgia. The Bulldogs were held to one first down in the first half. Chavis’ decision to play a lot of man coverage against Georgia paid off in making them one-dimensional and limiting them to 274 total yards. This LSU defense has taken on Chavis’ personality -- tough, resilient and all business. The Tigers still haven’t played their best game on defense, either.
Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain: Proving yet again why he’s one of the best inside linebackers in college football, McClain had a game-high 11 tackles in the 38-20 win over Kentucky and had a hand in three turnovers that killed three consecutive drives for the Wildcats. He had an interception and also forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Courtney Upshaw just before the half to completely change the complexion of the game.
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett: He came back to reality last week against Alabama’s defense, but showed what he’s made of Saturday in a 47-19 victory over previously unbeaten Texas A&M. Despite getting off to a slow start, missing his first three passes and being sacked a couple of times, Mallett kept his poise and finished with four touchdown passes. He connected with four different players on his scoring tosses.
LSU running back Charles Scott: The heart and soul of LSU’s offense a year ago, Scott hadn’t done a whole lot this season until Saturday. The Tigers needed him in the fourth quarter, and he delivered with a pair of touchdown runs and a season-high 95 yards rushing. His 33-yard touchdown romp with 46 seconds remaining was the game-winner and was vintage Scott. He bolted through the hole and then ran over Georgia linebacker Marcus Dowtin on his way to the end zone.