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Monday, September 5, 2011
SEC players of the week: Week 1

By Edward Aschoff

Here are the SEC players of the week as the league announced Monday:

SEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

RB Vick Ballard (Mississippi State) -- Ballard rushed for a career-high 166 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries in Mississippi State’s 59-14 win at Memphis, making it the fifth time in 13 career games that he has scored three touchdowns.

SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

CB Tyrann Mathieu (LSU) -- Mathieu had a team-high 10 total tackles, forced a fumble, which he returned for a 3-yard touchdown, broke up two passes, and had a tackle for loss in LSU’s 40-27 win against Oregon. He also returned three punts for a total of 26 yards, including a long of 15 yards.

SEC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

WR Joe Adams (Arkansas) -- Adams tied an SEC record with two punt returns for touchdowns in Arkansas’ 51-7 win over Missouri State. The last SEC player to accomplish the feat was Kentucky’s Derek Abney against Mississippi State in 2002. Adams scored from 61 yards and 69 yards. Adams also had a school-record 174 yards on six punt returns and also caught an 11-yard pass.

SEC OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK

OT Rokevious Watkins (South Carolina) -- Watkins made his first-career start at right tackle for the Gamecocks after playing guard in 2010 and helped South Carolina to a 56-37 win against East Carolina. South Carolina's offense generated 351 yards of total offense against ECU. The Gamecocks had just one lost yardage play on 65 plays. Watkins recorded eight knockdowns, four pancakes, allowed no sacks and no quarterback pressures.

SEC Co-DEFENSIVE LINEMEN OF THE WEEK

DT Jaye Howard (Florida) -- Howard had four tackles, 1.5 for losses, and a 12-yard sack in Florida's 41-3 win over Florida Atlantic. The Gators gave up just 30 rushing yards to FAU on 30 attempts.

DT Luke McDermott (Kentucky) -- McDermott had four tackles, including a 5-yard sack in Kentucky’s 14-3 win against Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers had just 234 total yards in the game.

SEC Co-FRESHMEN OF THE WEEK

LB Trey DePriest (Alabama) -- DePriest led Alabama with 10 total tackles, had 0.5 for loss and a quarterback hurry in the Crimson Tide's 48-7 win over Kent State. The Tide defense held Kent State to 90 total yards, including -9 on the ground.

RB/RS Tre Mason (Auburn) -- Mason had 176 kickoff return yards on four attempts, including a 97-yard touchdown, in Auburn’s 42-38 win over Utah State. His return yardage is tied for third in school history.

OTHER TOP PERFORMERS:

WR/RS Marquis Maze (Alabama) -- Totaled 253 all-purpose yards against Kent State including 118 on eight catches, 96 yards on eight punt returns and 39 yards on a kickoff return.

QB Tyler Wilson (Arkansas)
-- In his first career start he completed 18-of-24 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns against Missouri State.

WR Travante Stallworth (Auburn) -- Had four catches for 93 yards and a touchdown against Utah State.

RB Chris Rainey (Florida) -- Scored three touchdowns, all different ways -- a 14-yard rushing score, a 22-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown and a 14-yard receiving score -- against Florida Atlantic.

TE Orson Charles(Georgia) -- Had six catches for career-high 109 yards and a touchdown against Boise State.

S/LB Winston Guy (Kentucky) -- Had 10 tackles, including 2.5 for losses and two interceptions against Western Kentucky.

DB Charles Sawyer (Ole Miss)
-- Returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown and had seven tackles against BYU.

DB Marvin Bure (Mississippi State) -- Posted five tackles on kickoff coverage as Bulldogs held Memphis to just 17 yards per return on 10 kickoffs.

QB Stephen Garcia(South Carolina) -- Came off the bench against East Carolina and accounted for three touchdowns -- two on the ground (32 yards and 10 yards) and one through the air.

QB Tyler Bray (Tennessee) -- Completed 17-of-24 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns against Montana.

LB Daryle Vereen (Tennessee) -- Led the Vols with a career-high and team-best six tackles against Montana.

LB Chris Marve(Vanderbilt) -- Led the Commodores with 12 total tackles, including two for losses (-3 yards) against Elon.