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Southeastern Conference Digest: October 19, 2016 (via Crimson Magazine)

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE FOR OCTOBER 22, 2016:

UMass (1-6) at South Carolina (2-4, 1-4 SEC), Series: First Meeting, 11 a.m. CT • SEC Network,  Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)          

Texas A&M (6-0, 4-0 SEC) at Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC), Series: UA leads, 6-2, 2:30 p.m. CT • CBS, Last: UA, 41-23 (2015 in College Station), Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)            

Middle Tennessee (4-2) at Missouri (2-4, 0-3 SEC), Series: MIZ leads, 1-0, 3 p.m. CT • SEC Network,  Columbia, Mo. • Faurot Field / Memorial Stadium (71,168)

Arkansas (5-2, 1-2 SEC) at Auburn (4-2, 2-1 SEC), Series: AU leads, 13-11-1, 5 p.m. CT •  Last: ARK, 54-46 OT (2015 in Fayetteville), Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)                      

Tennessee State (5-1) at Vanderbilt (3-4, 1-3 SEC), Series: VU leads, 1-0, 6:30 p.m. CT • ESPNU,  Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (40,350)                    

Mississippi State (2-4, 1-2 SEC) at Kentucky (3-3, 2-2 SEC)    Series: MSU leads, 22-21, 6:30 p.m. CT •  SEC Network, Last: MSU, 42-16 (2015 at Starkville), Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium (61,000)              

Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2) at LSU (4-2, 2-1 SEC), Series: LSU leads, 59-41-4,  8 p.m. CT •  ESPN, Last: UM, 38-17 (2015 at Oxford), Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (102,321)                         

OPEN: Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC); Georgia (4-3, 2-3 SEC), Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC)

SEC FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

OFFENSE:
Rawleigh Williams III, RB, Arkansas
Ran for 101 yards in the first half against No. 12 Ole Miss and a career-high 180 yards for the game which is the most by a Razorback in an SEC game since November of 2010.


Took over as the SEC's leading rusher thanks to his league-leading fourth 100-yard game of the season.
Broke three runs over 20 or more yards, including his second over 50 yards this season. His three 20-yard runs against Ole Miss are more than the season total of all but 13 other SEC players.
Had six runs that resulted in first downs in first downs while he wasn't stopped for negative yards on any of his 27 carries.
Hauled in his first career receiving touchdown in the third quarter.
His 180 yards rushing were the most by an SEC player this week and the third-most in an SEC game this season.
Williams is one of three Power 5 players with 750 yards rushing and five touchdowns this season.

DEFENSE:
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Earned Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors after a 19-tackle performance in Vanderbilt's 17-16 win at Georgia that was capped with a game-clinching tackle on a 4th-and-1 Bulldog play with :56 left in regulation.
Cunningham's 19 tackles, which included 2.5 tackles for loss, is a personal career high and is tied for the most by a SEC player this season. It's the most tackles registered by a Commodore defender since LB Jamie Winborn had 20 tackles against South Carolina on Oct. 23, 1999.
Sparked a Vanderbilt defense that limited UGA to 75 rushing yards, including just 40 yards by standout RB Nick Chubb.
Cunningham tops the SEC with 81 total tackles and 13 tackles for loss. In four SEC games, he is averaging 13.8 tackles for 2.3 tackles for loss.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Darrius Sims, RS, Vanderbilt
Had two kick returns for 124 yards, including a 95-yarder on the opening kick, in Vanderbilt's 17-16 road victory over Georgia.
Sims' 95-yard return, the longest by a SEC player this season, gave the Commodores an early lead, and helped lift the Commodores to their biggest win of the season. It also marked Derek Mason's first SEC road victory as Vanderbilt's coach.
His 32.4-yard kick return average leads the SEC and is on pace to smash the team's single-season return. He also needs just 44 yards to become Vanderbilt's career leader in kick return yards.

FRESHMAN:
Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama
Hurts ran for a game-high 132 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, while throwing for 143, in leading No. 1 Alabama to defeat the No. 9 Vols, 49-10.
Hurts became the first Tide quarterback to run for 100 yards in a game since 2001 when he ran for 146 yards during Alabama's win over Ole Miss Sept. 17. Now, he owns two of the top seven single-game rushing performances by a quarterback in Tide history.
In just his seventh career game, Hurts became the first quarterback in Alabama history to run for 120-plus yards a second time during his career.
The true freshman had runs of 10, 16, 21, 37 and 45 yards against Tennessee - the longest of those going for a touchdown.

OFFENSIVE LINE:
Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The freshman right tackle cleared a path for 594 yards of total offense in the Tide's 49-10 win at No. 9 Tennessee.
Posted a grade of 90 percent and did not allow a quarterback hurry or a sack and did not commit a penalty.
Provided time for Alabama to rush for a Saban-era high 438 yards on the ground with five rushing touchdowns.
Helped both Jalen Hurts and Bo Scarbrough eclipse the 100-yard rushing barrier with Damien Harris close behind at 94 yards.
Provided time for 156 yards passing.
Helped the Crimson Tide average 7.8 yards per play and 8.9 yards per rush.

DEFENSIVE LINE:
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Junior defensive end Derek Barnett recorded three tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and one interception against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.
 On Alabama's second drive of the second quarter, Barnett sacked Jalen Hurts for a 14-yard loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by UT's Quay Picou at the Crimson Tide's 11-yard line. That turnover resulted in points as it set up a seven-yard touchdown run by Alvin Kamara to pull the Vols to within 14-7. The sack was the 26th of Barnett's career, giving him sole possession of third-most in Tennessee history. He is now six sacks away from tying Reggie White (32) for the UT all-time record and three away from matching Leonard Little's 28 in second place.
With 26.0 career sacks, Barnett ranks second among active FBS players.
Barnett halted Alabama's fourth possession of the second quarter when he intercepted a pass by Hurts and returned it seven yards to the UT 32-yard line. Teammate Shy Tuttle batted the ball high up in the air and Barnett caught the ball with Hurts draped over him for the first interception of his career.

MEDIA PICKS KENTUCKY TO TAKE MEN"S 2016-17 SEC BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP:
John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats were predicted to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference men's basketball championship in voting by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.
The Wildcats are the overall preseason favorite for the 12th time since the 1998‐99 season. Arkansas senior forward Moses Kingsley was the choice of the media for SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year.
Georgia's J.J. Frazier & Yante Maten; Kentucky's Edrice "Bam" Adebayo, Isaiah Briscoe, De'Aaron Fox & Malik Monk; and Texas A&M's Tyler Davis also received votes in the Player of the Year voting.
Kingsley, Frazier, Adebayo, Fox and Davis were each All‐SEC First Team selections. Maten, Briscoe and Monk were second team picks along with Florida's KeVaughn Allen, LSU's Antonio Blakeney, Mississippi State's Quinndary Weatherspoon and Vanderbilt's Luke Kornet.
Points were compiled on a 14‐13‐12‐11‐10‐9‐8‐7‐6‐5‐4‐3‐2‐1 basis. Each media member also voted for a five‐player All‐SEC Team. Ties were not broken.
The 2016‐17 campaign begins November 11, with conference play set to begin December 29. The 2017 SEC Tournament will be March 8‐12 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Preseason Media Poll:
1. Kentucky,  2. Florida, 3. Texas A&M, 4. Georgia, 5. Arkansas, 6. Vanderbilt, 7. Alabama, 8. South Carolina, 9.Ole Miss, 10. Mississippi State, 11. Auburn, 12. LSU, 13.    Tennessee, 14. Missouri

First Team All‐SEC:
Moses Kingsley - Arkansas, F, 6‐10, 230, Sr., Abuja, Nigeria
J.J. Frazier - Georgia, G, 5‐10, 155, Sr., Glennville, Ga.
Edrice "Bam" Adebayo - Kentucky, F, 6‐10, 260, Fr., Little Washington, N.C.
De'Aaron Fox - Kentucky, G, 6‐3, 187, Fr., Houston, Texas
Tyler Davis - Texas A&M, C, 6‐10, 270, So., Plano, Texas

Second Team All‐SEC:
KeVaughn Allen - Florida, G, 6‐2, 183, So., Little Rock, Ark.
Yante Maten - Georgia, F, 6‐8, 240, Jr., Pontiac, Mich.
Isaiah Briscoe - Kentucky, G, 6‐3, 210, So., Newark, N.J.
Malik Monk - Kentucky, G, 6‐3, 200, Fr., Lepanto, Ark.
Antonio Blakeney - LSU, G, 6‐4, 190, So., Sarasota, Fla.
Quinndary Weatherspoon - Mississippi State, G, 6‐4, 202, So., Canton, Miss.
Luke Kornet - Vanderbilt, F, 7‐1, 250, Sr., Lantana, Texas

SEC Player of the Year: Moses Kingsley, Arkansas

GAMECOCKS TABBED TO WIN SEC 2016-17 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TITLE:
South Carolina was predicted to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference women's basketball championship in a voting of a select panel of both SEC and national media members.
The Gamecocks enter the 2016-17 campaign as the three-time reigning SEC regular-season champions, including last season's perfect 16-0 league record. South Carolina is returning multiple All-Americans this season in senior center Alaina Coates and junior forward A'ja Wilson. South Carolina added five newcomers to the roster with the four freshmen ready to take the court this season, led by FIBA U18 Americas Championship gold medalist Tyasha Harris.
South Carolina tops the order of finish, with Mississippi State, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Texas A&M and Auburn rounding out the top half the league. Missouri, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Arkansas, LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss round out the bottom half.
South Carolina's A'ja Wilson was the overwhelming choice for SEC Women's Basketball Player of the Year. Wilson's teammate Alaina Coates also received votes, as did Kentucky's Makayla Epps and Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians.
Those four players also make up the bulk of the All-SEC team with Tennessee's Diamond DeShields being the fifth player.

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH:
1. South Carolina, 2. Mississippi State, 3. Tennessee, 4. Kentucky, 5. Florida, 6. Texas A&M, 7. Auburn, 8. Missouri, 9. Vanderbilt, 10. Georgia, 11. Arkansas, 12. LSU, 13. Alabama, 14. Ole Miss

Preseason All-SEC:
Makayla Epps, Kentucky
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
A'ja Wilson, South Carolina
Diamond DeShields, Tennessee

SEC Player of the Year:

A'ja Wilson, South Carolina

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