We track coaches’ records against SEC competition. Why not players?
We’re far enough into this season to take a look at who’s done what against SEC competition. Every team has played at least five conference games.
Here’s a taste:
The top rusher in SEC games only is Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, and his average of 149 yards per game and 13 touchdowns through six contests speak volumes about the kind of season he’s had. Last season, Alabama’s Mark Ingram averaged 127 rushing yards in nine SEC games and scored eight touchdowns, and we all know what trophy is sitting on his mantle right now.
Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett is the passing leader in SEC games … but barely. Mallett is averaging 287.6 passing yards per game and has thrown nine touchdown passes and four interceptions. Right on his heels is Kentucky’s Mike Hartline, who’s averaging 287 passing yards per game and has thrown 14 touchdown passes and seven interceptions (in one more game). Hartline has attempted 239 passes and is completing 62.2 percent of his passes in league games.
Any guesses on who’s leading the league in pass efficiency against SEC competition? Would you believe South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia? He has a 175.8 efficiency rating, and the next closest quarterback is Mallett with a 154.9 rating.
Of the 10 quarterbacks listed among the leaders in SEC games only, nine have thrown at least as many touchdown passes as interceptions. The only one who hasn’t is Florida’s John Brantley, who has six interceptions and two touchdown passes.
It’s hard to find a better freshman in the league than South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, especially when you look at just SEC statistics. Lattimore is second to Newton in rushing at 114.2 yards per game and is tied for second with Florida’s Trey Burton with 10 touchdowns.
The only four players among the top 10 rushers in the league averaging 6 yards or more per carry against SEC defenses are Alabama’s Trent Richardson (7.1), Newton (6.6), Auburn’s Mike Dyer (6.5) and Arkansas’ Knile Davis (6.0).
South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery leads all receivers with seven touchdown catches against SEC defenses. He also leads the way with an average of 122 receiving yards per game and is averaging 18.3 yards per catch. Kentucky’s Randall Cobb has 47 catches to lead all SEC receivers.
Defensively, Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston is No. 1 in both sacks (7) and tackles for loss (13.5) in league games. A pair of South Carolina players are Nos. 2 and 3 in sacks. Devin Taylor has 6.5 and Melvin Ingram 5.
The best place-kicker in league games has been LSU’s Josh Jasper, who’s 11-of-12 on field goals with a long of 51 yards.