Mizzou's E.J. Gaines named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week

BIRMINGHAM (SECDigitalNetwork.com) - The Southeastern Conference on Monday announced its Football Players of the Week, recognizing performances from the final week of the 2013 regular season.

OFFENSE: Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn
• Rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown while completing 11-of-16 passes for 97 yards and two TDs as Auburn defeated #1 Alabama, 34-28.
• Accounted for 186 yards of total offense and three touchdowns.
• Completed a 39-yard touchdown pass Sammie Coates with 32 seconds remaining to tie the game.
• It was the fourth fourth-quarter game-winning or game-tying drive engineered by Marshall this season (Miss. State, Texas A&M, Georgia, Alabama).

CO-DEFENSE: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri
• Turned in an amazing lock-down coverage performance against A&M superstar wideout Mike Evans, as he held Evans to season-low totals of 4 receptions for just 8 yards, which was a key in Mizzou's stellar defensive effort.
• Evans came into the game averaging 119.5 yards per outing, with 12 receiving TDs, and his long catch Saturday in Mizzou's win was just a 10-yarder.
• Gaines ended the evening with 6 total tackles, as the Tiger defense held A&M to 21 points and 379 yards of total offense, well below the Aggies' pre-game averages of 45.6 points and 552.6 yards coming in.
• Gaines ranks 4th in the SEC (31st in the NCAA) with his 4 interceptions to date, and he ranks 3rd on the Tiger team with his 59 tackles on the season, despite missing 2-1/2 games w/injury.

CO-DEFENSE: Nickoe Whitley, S, Mississippi State
• For the second-straight week, Whitley had what proved to be the game-winning forced fumble.
• Against Ole Miss in overtime, he forced a fumbled on the Rebels' first possession at the 2-yard line that lifted the Bulldogs to a 17-10 win en route to becoming bowl eligible.
• He finished the game with 5 tackles, an interception and a quarterback hurry.

CO-SPECIAL TEAMS: Chris Davis, CB/KR, Auburn
• Returned a missed field goal 109 yards (officially 100 yards) as time expired to lead Auburn to a 34-28 come-from-behind victory over #1 Alabama.
• It is the fourth time in NCAA history that a missed field goal was returned for 100 yards for a score and the second time this year (LSU vs UAB – Odell Beckham, Jr. for LSU). The two other times were in 1968 (Clemson vs. Georgia – Richie Luzzi for Clemson) and 1966 (California vs. Washington State – Don Guest for California).
• It was the first time a missed field goal was returned 100-yards as time expired.
• Defensively, recording 10 tackles, tying the team game-high.

CO-SPECIAL TEAMS: Carey Spear, PK, Vanderbilt
• Spear was 3-of-3 on field goals, including a game-winning 38-yarder with 39 seconds left, to give the Commodores a 23-21 victory over ACC opponent Wake Forest.
• Spear tied a single-game career high with the three goals. On the season, Spear is 13-of-17 on field goals
• A 2012 All-SEC recipient, Spear is a finalist for the 2013 Wuerffel Trophy and one of 11 members of the Allstate-American Football Coaches Association Good Works national team.
• The win enabled Vanderbilt to post back-to-back eight-win regular seasons for the first time since 1927-28. The 8-4 Commodores also are bowl eligible for the third consecutive year for the first time in program history.

CO-FRESHMAN: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State
• Once again, Chris Jones proved to be a beast up front.
• The true freshman was credited with 5 tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss as the Bulldogs claimed a 17-10 overtime win against Ole Miss.
• He also had one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.

CO-FRESHMAN: Anthony Jennings, QB, LSU
• Led LSU on a 99-yard game-winning scoring drive that started with just over three minutes to go in the contest and with the Tigers trailing 27-24.
• Connected with Travin Dural on a 49-yard TD pass on third-and-10 with just over a minute left in the game to lift LSU to the win.
• Inserted into the game with 6 minutes to go after starting QB Zach Mettenberger was injured and knocked out of the contest.
• Finished game 4-of-7 passing for 76 yards and a TD to go along with 26 rushing yards on 3 carries, including a 21-yard run that extended the game-winning drive.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
• James played his final game in a Tennessee uniform by setting the school record with his 49th start on the offensive line.
• All 49 of James' starts were consecutive and encompassed every game of his UT career since setting foot on campus as a true freshman.
• The Vols defeated Kentucky, 27-14, recording their fifth 200-yard rushing game of the season, the most for Tennessee since 2004.

CO-DEFENSIVE LINE: Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
• Quarles paced the Gamecocks with six tackles including four solo stops.
• He was credited with a career-high 2.5 sacks, accounting for 26 yards.
• He also had one quarterback hurry as the Gamecock defense held the high-octane Clemson offense to just 17 points, forcing a half-dozen turnovers.

CO-DEFENSIVE LINE: Corey Miller, DL, Tennessee
• In his final game as a Volunteer, Miller recorded 4.5 sacks, breaking Reggie White's 30-year-old Tennessee sack record (4 vs. The Citadel, 1983).
• Miller finished with seven tackles overall and recorded a sack and a forced fumble on the final play of his career to seal a 27-14 win at Kentucky.
• His 4.5 sacks also marked only the second time in Volunteer history that a player recorded more than three sacks in one game.