Monday, October 21, 2013
Player of the week: SEC
By David Ching
If Mike Evans could play against a team from Alabama each week, he might break every receiving record in SEC history.
The Texas A&M sophomore might be well on his way to doing that, regardless.
In Saturday's 45-41 loss to Auburn, Evans nearly posted the best single-game performance by an SEC receiver, finishing with 11 catches for 287 yards and four touchdowns. That left him just 16 yards shy of the league record that Arkansas' Cobi Hamilton set last year against Rutgers.
That he did it in a loss is somewhat remarkable (so did Hamilton, for that matter), as Auburn's defense had absolutely no answer for Evans. By the end of the first quarter, the 6-foot-5 star already had 140 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers certainly tried to make some halftime adjustments to slow him down, but Evans still had 105 yards and another TD catch in the second half.
It was a ridiculous performance that surpassed even his unbelievable day against Alabama earlier this season, when he logged seven receptions for 279 yards. That's 18 catches for 566 yards in two games against teams from the state of Alabama. And crazily enough, those are the only two games the Aggies have lost.
But you certainly can't lay that at Evans' feet. He already has more than 1,000 receiving yards (1,024 on 43 receptions) in just seven games -- with his 146.3 yards per game leading the SEC and ranking second nationally behind only Oregon State's Brandin Cooks (168.0).
With five games to go in the regular season -- plus whatever he achieves in the postseason -- Evans has LSU great Josh Reed's 2001 record pace within his sights. Reed finished that season with 94 catches for 1,740 yards and 145 yards per game, all SEC records.
It might take another performance like Saturday's to put him over the top, but Evans has quickly emerged as one of the nation's most dangerous receivers. With Texas A&M putting up huge offensive numbers on a weekly basis, he just might get there.