Monday, September 16, 2013
Player of the Week: SEC
By David Ching
Either of the quarterbacks from Saturday's Alabama-Texas A&M could make a compelling argument to be named the SEC's top performer of the week. After all, Alabama's AJ McCarron threw for 339 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-42 win, while Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel was as electric as ever in compiling 562 total yards and five scores.
But let's go a different direction with this week's pick: Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott, who helped the Rebels get off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1989.
Ole Miss hammered reeling Texas 44-23 -- in Austin no less -- with the speedy back dominating on the ground and dealing the Longhorns a crushing blow by returning a punt 73 yards for a touchdown at the end of the third quarter.
The Rebels earned an enormous program-building victory by outscoring Texas 27-0 in the second half, and Scott's running ability was a key factor. The 5-foot-7 speedster took handoff after handoff on speed option running plays that Texas had no answer for, with Scott compiling 164 rushing yards, one touchdown and averaging 8.6 yards per carry.
The biggest play of the night was probably Scott's punt return, however. It was still a one-score game at 31-23 late in the third quarter when Scott caught an Anthony Fera punt at his own 27 and immediately slithered away from a pack of four Longhorns to break into the open field. Similar to his game-winning 75-yard touchdown run late in Week 1 against Vanderbilt, Scott managed to slip multiple tackle attempts and then turned on his impressive speed to turn in a highlight-reel touchdown.
Ole Miss' victory garnered only a fraction of the attention that Alabama's win in College Station received, but it's as big a win as the Rebels have earned in years -- and Scott was one of the leading factors in his team's toppling one of the traditional powers in the sport.