Some people hand out game balls. We hand out helmet stickers.
A look at Saturday’s top performers in the SEC:
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia: Jones obviously loves playing against Florida. He lit up the Gators for four sacks last season and was even more disruptive Saturday in the Bulldogs’ 17-9 victory over the Gators. His strip of a leaping Jordan Reed at the 5-yard line thwarted the Gators’ potentially game-tying drive. It was one of two forced fumbles by Jones, who led Georgia with 13 total tackles, including 4.5 for loss. Three of those were sacks, and he also recovered two fumbles. Not a bad day at the office.
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: This is a tribute to one of the classiest kids you’re ever going to meet. All of college football is keeping its collective fingers crossed that Lattimore will be able to recover from the awful-looking injury he suffered to his right knee Saturday in South Carolina’s 38-35 win over Tennessee. Lattimore has been a terrific player for the Gamecocks, but the thing that makes him so special is the way he carries himself, the way he treats people and the way he represents his family, his football team and his university. If there’s any way possible, he’ll be back.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Johnny Football reappeared Saturday after looking more like Johnny Turnover last week. Manziel called it a night early in the third quarter of the Aggie's 63-21 romp at Auburn, but not before he'd accounted for five touchdowns. He finished with three touchdown runs, two touchdown passes and amassed 350 yards of total offense all in a little more than a half. Manziel retired to the bench after the opening possession of the second half. He now has 3,009 yards of total offense on the season. Cam Newton set the SEC record for total offense in 2010 with 4,327 yards in 14 games.
Bryson Rose, PK, Ole Miss: Rose provided all of the points Ole Miss needed in the second half Saturday, including a game-winning 31-yard field as time expired in the 30-27 victory over Arkansas. He was 3-for-3 on field goals, all of them coming after halftime. The Rebels’ senior place-kicker also booted field goals from 53 and 27 yards. The 53-yarder was a career-best for Rose and put Ole Miss ahead 27-20 in the fourth quarter.
Kirby Smart, Alabama’s defensive coordinator: Despite having to plug in so many new players, the Crimson Tide are playing as well as ever on defense. Nobody has scored more than 14 points against them this season, and they shut down Mississippi State on Saturday in a 38-7 win. The more you watch this defense play, the more impressed you are with how well-coached the players are and how few mental errors they make. They might not have a bunch of NFL first-rounders on this defense, but they’re sure playing like it.