Time to hand out our version of the game balls in SEC country.
A couple of great games highlighted the day -- Auburn’s overtime win against Clemson and Arkansas’ win in the final seconds at Georgia -- and there was also the return of a great player.
That’s where we’ll start with our Week 3 helmet stickers:
Alabama running back Mark Ingram: For a guy who had knee surgery in late August, Ingram couldn’t have looked any better. He was fabulous for the Crimson Tide in their 62-13 mauling of Duke. Ingram popped loose for 48 yards on the first offensive play of the game. He ran for 50 yards on his third carry of the game and had 119 rushing yards on five carries by halftime. He finished with 151 yards on nine carries, serving notice that he is indeed back after missing the first two games. Who knows? He might be right back in the Heisman Trophy race, too.
Vanderbilt coach Robbie Caldwell: His own team awarded him the game ball after Vanderbilt snapped its 10-game SEC losing streak with a 28-14 victory at Ole Miss. Caldwell had vowed that the Commodores would hang in there after losing 27-3 last week at home to LSU, and that’s exactly what they did. Even after Ole Miss came back to tie the game at 14-14, Vanderbilt never blinked and made every play it needed to to send the Rebels packing. Warren Norman had an 80-yard touchdown run. The offensive line paved the way for 227 rushing yards, and the defense forced three turnovers.
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett: Forget about the big numbers for a minute. Yes, he threw three more touchdown passes and has nine in his first three games. But when the Hogs needed him Saturday, Mallett was there front and center. He engineered a three-play touchdown drive with just 47 seconds to play, which was capped by Mallett’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Greg Childs. There was never any panic in Mallett’s eyes. He just wanted the ball one more time, and he delivered in the biggest win the Hogs have had under Bobby Petrino to date.
Auburn receiver Darvin Adams: The SEC is full of outstanding receivers, and Adams is certainly one of them. Despite catching 10 touchdown passes last season, he still probably didn’t get the credit he deserved. He’ll get plenty of props after his five-catch, 118-yard performance in the 27-24 overtime win against Clemson. Adams was a big part of the Tigers’ comeback in the second half. He had four catches for 95 yards after halftime, including an 8-yard touchdown catch and another 34-yard catch that set up a touchdown.
LSU place-kicker Josh Jasper: On a night when the LSU offense couldn’t find the end zone as much as it wanted to, Jasper came on to break his own school record with five field goals in a 29-7 win over Mississippi State. He connected from 51, 44, 37, 32 and 21 yards and is now 7-of-8 on field goal attempts this season.