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Monday, October 6, 2008
SEC Week 6 award winners

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

It wasn't a week of marquee matchups in the SEC, but we did have some marquee performances. The ballots are in, and here are our selections for weekly honors:

OFFENSE

Chris Smelley, quarterback, South Carolina: Playing quarterback for the Head Ball Coach ain't the easiest thing in the world to do. Smelley has kept his head, kept his poise and delivered a career performance in South Carolina's 31-24 win over Ole Miss. He threw for a career-high 327 yards and three touchdowns. His completion rate of 63.1 percent leads all SEC quarterbacks who've attempted at least 100 passes this season.

DEFENSE

Patrick Benoist, linebacker, Vanderbilt: Despite playing with a cast on his right hand to protect a broken bone he suffered the third week of the season, Benoist just keeps coming up big for the Commodores. He had a team-high 13 tackles in the win over Auburn, including two for loss, and also deflected a pass. Benoist is averaging 10 tackles per game, which is second in the SEC to Florida's Brandon Spikes (10.2 tackles).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Brett Upson, punter, Vanderbilt: Bobby Johnson said a concerted effort was made during the offseason to get better on special teams. Sure enough, the Commodores have continually made things happen in the kicking game this season. Against Auburn, it was Upson coming to the rescue with four of his punts downed inside the 20-yard line. His final one was a 55-yard rocket that pinned the Tigers at their own 3 in the final two minutes.

COACH

Robbie Caldwell, offensive line coach, Vanderbilt: The Commodores' play in the offensive line has probably been the most surprising part of their success this season. Caldwell lost all five starters from a year ago, including first-round draft choice Chris Williams, but Vanderbilt has more than held its own up front this season. The Commodores allowed just one sack in the 14-13 win over Auburn, and backup quarterback Mackenzi Adams had plenty of time to throw when he entered for Chris Nickson. Caldwell has his group playing with confidence, playing fast and playing at a high level right now.