Now that we’ve put the ninth week of the season in our rear-view mirror, it’s time to pass out the SEC helmet stickers:
Auburn cornerback Demond Washington: The Tigers’ pass defense has taken its lumps this season, but Washington had a key interception at the Auburn 2-yard line in the second quarter after Ole Miss had recovered a fumble deep in the Tigers’ territory. Washington, a 5-9, 182-pound senior, tied for second on the team with six tackles and broke the game open just before halftime with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Washington now has 806 yards in kickoff returns on the season, which is a new Auburn record.
Florida place-kicker Chas Henry: If anybody deserved something good to happen to him, it was the hard-luck Henry. After missing both of his field-goal attempts two weeks ago in a 10-7 loss to Mississippi State, Henry drilled the game-winner Saturday in overtime, a 37-yarder that lifted Florida to a 34-31 win over Georgia and kept the Gators alive in the Eastern Division race.
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett: Two weeks removed from suffering a concussion against Auburn, Mallett broke his own school record with 409 passing yards in the Hogs’ 49-14 victory over Vanderbilt. Mallett finished 27-of-44 and threw three touchdown passes. The Hogs scored 43 unanswered points after trailing 14-6 early.
Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz: His defense didn’t play up to his expectations, or anybody’s expectations, last week in a 29-24 win over UAB. But the Bulldogs came back Saturday and held Kentucky’s explosive offense to two touchdowns in a 24-17 victory, extending Mississippi State’s winning streak to six games. The Bulldogs forced four turnovers and have held four of their five SEC opponents this season to 17 points or less. Diaz has done a terrific job with this defense.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore: Returning to full speed from a sprained ankle, Lattimore rushed for a career-high 184 yards in South Carolina’s 38-24 win over Tennessee. He also scored his 13th touchdown, which is tied for the fifth most by a freshman in SEC history. He’s three shy of the South Carolina single-season record.