Murray has Bulldogs in championship position - Tucson News Now

Murray has Bulldogs in championship position

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Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) pitches the ball to running back Todd Gurley (3). (Source: Georgia Athletics) Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) pitches the ball to running back Todd Gurley (3). (Source: Georgia Athletics)
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(RNN) - Here's a weekly look at five of the SEC's top performers in Week 10 and who to watch in Week 11.

Week 10 recap:

1. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

It's been an up-and-down year for Georgia, but a dominating 37-10 win over Ole Miss, aided by Murray's 384 yards and four touchdowns, put the Bulldogs in position to clinch the SEC East and garnered Murray co-offensive player of the week honors.

Georgia's offense has alternated between dominant and nonexistent as well as trading weeks where the passing game shines and the running game shines. The good news for the 'Dogs is that to clinch the SEC East, all they have to do is beat Auburn this week. Whatever comes through for the offense will likely be fine because Auburn's defense is statistically one of the worst in the SEC.

A win also likely guarantees Georgia (8-1, 6-1) a bowl bid no worse than the Capitol One Bowl and keeps them in the running for a BCS bowl bid, whether as an automatic qualifier or an at-large team.

2. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

Tennessee's lack of defense – it ranks either 13th or 14th in the SEC in all major categories – allowed for a ton of offense last week in a 55-48 win over Troy, and Bray's 530 yards and five touchdowns, earned him co-offensive player of the week honors.

Tennessee (4-5, 0-5) is two wins away from earning bowl eligibility, but will have to pick up its first two SEC wins of the season to get it. Bray will play a major role in what happens because with the Vols' defense unable to stop opposing offenses, Bray will have to guide Tennessee's explosive offense to keep up.

3. Adrian Hubbard, LB, Alabama

In a game defined by defense, the top performer was a player who gets very little publicity. Hubbard had 12.5 tackles, including 2.5 for loss in Alabama's 21-17 win over LSU, and was named the SEC's defensive player of the week. It was particularly surprising because Hubbard isn't in the top 50 in the SEC in tackles, though he is tied for ninth in sacks and tied for 10th in tackles for loss.

It speaks to the dominance of Alabama's defense. LSU (7-2, 3-2) was the first team to move the ball consistently against Alabama (9-0, 6-0), providing the opportunity for a high number of tackles that previously did not exist.

4. Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

Alabama's defense was uncharacteristically soft against the run, thanks in part to an LSU offensive line stronger than any the Tide had faced and unusual production from the Tigers' passing game.

Hill recorded his third consecutive 100-yard game for the Tigers, and became the first SEC running back to eclipse that mark against Alabama since 2010. Hill has emerged from the nation's most crowded backfield as a go-to threat in every situation.

5. Jordan Rodgers, QB, Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt is one win away from being bowl eligible for the second consecutive year. Rodgers has guided a steady, though fairly mundane, offense for the Commodores (5-4, 3-3). He averages 209 yards a game - which is four yards more than AJ McCarron, the SEC's most efficient passer – and had 220 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-0 win over Kentucky.

That win led to the announcement that Kentucky coach Joker Phillips will not be retained at the end of the year.

Who to watch in Week 11:

1. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

Mettenberger will try to follow his 298-yard performance against Alabama with another prolific day against Mississippi State.

Mettenberger has struggled all season and is ninth in the SEC in passing yards per game and 12th in passing efficiency. Mississippi State's defense ranks 11th in the SEC in rushing defense and eighth in passing defense, so the opportunity for another breakthrough outing is possible.

LSU is still in the running for the SEC West crown and a BCS bowl berth, though both are highly unlikely. A win keeps LSU on track for either the Cotton Bowl or Outback Bowl, but a loss could drop them to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

As always, Johnny Football is a must-see. The dynamic dual-threat QB – who leads the SEC in rushing and total offense – will guide the SEC's best offense against its best defense in Alabama.

The Aggies (7-2, 4-2) have the No. 5 offense in the country, while Alabama's defense is No. 2 nationally. Manziel has had huge games against lesser teams, but against top-rated defenses, such as Florida and LSU, he has been stifled and the offense has faltered.

A&M has a weak defense – eighth in the SEC – so if Alabama's efficient and punishing offense is able to put up points, Manziel will have to navigate the Tide's juggernaut defense to keep the scoring on pace. A&M is considered the likely frontrunner for the Cotton Bowl, where a matchup with Texas is possible, but a loss to Alabama could put that in jeopardy.

3. Kenny Miles, RB, South Carolina

Miles will be making his first start against Arkansas, replacing the injured Marcus Lattimore. Miles is faster than Lattimore, but is not as shifty or hard to tackle. South Carolina (7-2, 5-2) is fighting for a trip to the Capitol One Bowl and cannot afford a third loss.

Arkansas (4-5, 2-3) is fighting to salvage its season and has a passing game that is third in the SEC. The Razorbacks could still become bowl eligible, but will have to beat two ranked conference opponents to do it.

Miles will be expected to pick up the load Lattimore had been carrying and help guide the Gamecocks' ball control offense and keep Arkansas' explosive passing game on the sideline.

4. Jonathan Wallace, QB, Auburn

Has Auburn finally settled on who its best quarterback is? As long as Wallace doesn't throw interceptions, yes.

The Tigers (2-7, 0-6) are the only thing standing in the way of Georgia making the SEC championship game, and are hoping to pick up a conference win. Wallace has shown he can lead an SEC offense, but Auburn's has been so inept this season it's not likely to turn around with him under center.

5. James Franklin, QB, Missouri

Tennessee and Missouri are in the same boat this week. Both are two wins away from being bowl eligible, and both will likely need a win this week to make it. Franklin has been injured and inconsistent – he threw four interceptions in a 14-7 loss to Florida last week – in the Tigers' inaugural SEC season.

Missouri will play Syracuse and Texas A&M later in the year, so beating Tennessee is a must in order to salvage the year. Tennessee has the SEC's worst passing defense (115th nationally), so the opportunity is there if Franklin can take advantage of it.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Southeastern ConferenceMore>>

  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 3

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    Sunday, September 14 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-09-14 17:47:12 GMT

    Two top 10 teams were upset this week, and to the surprise of few, they were Southern Cal and Georgia.

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  • No. 24 South Carolina upsets No. 6 Georgia 38-35

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    Saturday, September 13 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-09-14 02:09:54 GMT
    Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns and No. 24 South Carolina's maligned defense stood strong on a fourth-quarter goal line stand to topple No. 6 Georgia 38-35 on Saturday night.
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  • USC season on line; UGA looking to break bad; Vols face tough road test

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    Friday, September 12 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-12 22:00:26 GMT
    Georgia can establish itself as a top-tier beast if it gets by South Carolina this weekend - and USC would drop to 0-2 in the league with a loss. Tennessee travels to Oklahoma, where Coach Bob Stoops doesn't believe the SEC is all-powerful.
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