SEC players of the week

The SEC league office announced its top performers for Week 8:

Offense: Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn

  • Threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a career-high 100 yards and two touchdowns to lead Auburn to a 45-41 upset victory at No. 7 Texas A&M.

  • Accounted for 336 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.

  • Only second Auburn quarterback to rush and pass for two or more scores in the same game. The last to accomplish the feat was Cam Newton at Kentucky in 2010.

  • Directed an Auburn offense that had 615 yards of offense, the third-most ever by an Auburn team in an SEC game

Defense: Michael Sam, DE, Missouri

  • Continued his All-America level of play with yet another huge game to help key Missouri's 36-17 win over No. 22 Florida. He made three sacks (22 yards in loss) and had four tackles in all, to go with one other quarterback hurry.

  • Leads the SEC in both sacks (9.0 total / 1.3 avg.) and tackles for loss (13.0 total /1.9 avg.), and ranks second in the nation and fourth in the nation in those categories, respectively.

  • Sam recorded his third multi-sack game of 2013. Also had three sacks in wins over Arkansas State and Vanderbilt earlier this season. Sam pushed his career sack total to 18.5, fifth all-time at Mizzou.

Special teams: Michael Palardy, PK/P, Tennessee

  • Kicked a game-winning, 19-yard field goal in Tennessee’s 23-21 win over No. 11 South Carolina.

  • He also punted eight times for a 40.4-yard average, including a career-best six downed inside the 20 and two downed inside the 10, including a 64-yarder.

  • Leads the conference with 16 punts downed inside the 20 this season (next closest is 12). He was was 3-of-4 in field-goal attempts Saturday (good from 37, 33, 19) and made both PAT attempts.

Freshman: Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri

  • Thrown into the fire on Saturday, as he made his first college start subbing for injured senior captain James Franklin. Mauk not only acquitted himself nicely, he had one heck of a day, as he threw for 295 yards and a touchdown (with one interception) and adde adding a rushing touchdown to seal the game in the fourth quarter, as he led the Tigers to a 36-17 victory over No. 22 Florida.

  • Mauk led the Tigers offense to a 500-yard and 36-point day against the vaunted Florida defense, which came into Saturday’s game ranked third in the NCAA in total defense (allowing 235.3 yards per game coming in) and fourth in the NCAA in scoring defense (allowing 13.0 points per game coming in).

  • Finished the day 18-of-36 passing for 295 yards and added 15 yards rushing on six carries.

Offensive lineman: Wesley Johnson, OT, Vanderbilt

  • Johnson contributed 12 knockdown blocks in Vanderbilt's 31-27 upset of No. 15 Georgia.

  • Four of Johnson's blocks also directly led to touchdowns or first downs in the victory.

  • Using a balanced offensive attack, the Commodores produced their highest point total against Georgia in 19 years.

  • Johnson ranks among the SEC leaders with 45 consecutive career starts.

  • Helped spring Jerron Seymour on the game-winning score – a 13-yard touchdown.

Defensive lineman: Cameron Whigham, DE, Ole Miss

  • Had a sack, a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup in helping Ole Miss to a 27-24 victory over No. 6 LSU.

  • The Ole Miss defense had season-highs with three interceptions and three sacks.

  • Became the first team to hold LSU scoreless in the first half this season.