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Week 5 top performers: Murray, Mosley lead juggernaut units

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Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) makes a tackle against Ole Miss. Mosley led the Tide with nine tackles, including one for a safety, and won the SEC's defensive player of the week award. (Source: Alabama Athletics) Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) makes a tackle against Ole Miss. Mosley led the Tide with nine tackles, including one for a safety, and won the SEC's defensive player of the week award. (Source: Alabama Athletics)
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) led the Bulldogs to a 44-41 win over LSU and earned the SEC's offensive player of the week award. (Source: Georgia Athletics) Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) led the Bulldogs to a 44-41 win over LSU and earned the SEC's offensive player of the week award. (Source: Georgia Athletics)
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    For a while, it looked like the college football world was going to be upended in the first week of play, but it all worked out according to plan in the end.

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  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 1

    What We Learned from the SEC in Week 1

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    For a while, it looked like the college football world was going to be upended in the first week of play, but it all worked out according to plan in the end.

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  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 1

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    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:51 PM EDT2014-08-31 17:51:41 GMT

    For a while, it looked like the college football world was going to be upended in the first week of play, but it all worked out according to plan in the end.

    For a while, it looked like the college football world was going to be upended in the first week of play, but it all worked out according to plan in the end.

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(RNN) – Here's a weekly look at five of the SEC's top performers in Week 5 and who to watch in Week 6.

Week 5 top performers:

1. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia – Five total touchdowns and 298 passing yards were enough for Murray to lift Georgia to a 44-41 win over LSU (4-1, 1-1) and earn him not just SEC offensive player of the week, but Walter Camp national offensive player of the week as well.

It's no surprise that Murray filled up his stat line in impressive form, but it isn't just the numbers that tell the story – it's the way they were earned. Neither team led by more than a touchdown at any point, and Georgia (3-1, 2-0) achieved that mark four times.

Murray was involved in every touchdown Georgia scored, throwing four of them and running for another. He led the Bulldogs on two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to take a lead. The first resulted in a field goal to put Georgia up by three, and the second was for what would be the winning touchdown with less than two minutes to play.

2. Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina – In a very uncharacteristic game for South Carolina, Davis was forced to shoulder the load in the second half and responded by running for 167 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-25 win over Central Florida.

The Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1) lost quarterback Connor Shaw to injury early in the game and didn't score until the third quarter. That's when Davis started to shine. He rumbled for a 53-yard touchdown shortly after halftime and had a pair of 13-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to put South Carolina up by 18.

Davis has come on strong for the Gamecocks' offense and leads the SEC in rushing yards per game with 127 and has added six touchdowns, which is third in the conference.

3. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama – If you know anything about Alabama, you know its defense is nearly impenetrable. Even allowing 42 points and more than 600 yards to Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide's defense is 13th nationally in scoring defense (2nd in the SEC), allowing an average of 14.5 points per game, and 27th nationally in total defense (3rd in the SEC), and has only allowed one touchdown in the three games not played against Johnny Manziel.

Mosley is the star of that defense and leads a unit that scored defensive touchdowns in three of the Tide's four games, and Mosley himself was credited with a tackle of Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace in the end zone, resulting in a safety in a 25-0 win. He led Alabama (4-0, 2-0) with nine tackles and was named the SEC's defensive player of the week.

Alabama's offense had gotten off to a sluggish start, and still sputtered at times against Ole Miss. But after surviving the onslaught from Manziel, the Tide doesn't have another offense on its schedule that stands out as a problem until a November game against LSU.

4. Austyn Carta-Samuels, QB, Vanderbilt – It isn't often that Vanderbilt hangs 52 points on someone, but Carta-Samuels led the Commodores (3-2, 0-2) to do just that in a 52-24 win over UAB. He threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns and spread the ball to eight receivers. He also ran for a touchdown on a quarterback sneak just before halftime.

Perhaps the most significant thing that came from the win was a 100-yard receiving effort from Jonathan Krause. Jordan Matthews, who had 115 yards and a touchdown, is the go-to player in the passing game, and Vanderbilt has been in need of a reliable second option for a couple of years.

UAB's defense isn't a stout one, but with games against Missouri, Georgia, Texas A&M and Florida looming, it's a good sign moving forward that Carta-Samuels has additional weapons.

5. Joe Mansour, K, Kentucky – This may be the only time Kentucky gets a player featured this season. Mansour was the Wildcats' leading rusher in a 24-7 loss to Florida after a 25-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal tied the game and gave Kentucky (1-3, 0-1) its only points against the Gators (3-1, 2-0).

Mansour did not, however, earn the SEC's special teams player of the week award. That went to Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan, who scored 14 points in the Bulldogs' win over LSU.

Who to watch in Week 6:

1. Tyler Russell/Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State – Dan Mullen has stated his commitment to Russell as the starting quarterback despite Prescott's solid outings since taking over when Russell suffered a concussion against Oklahoma State.

Mullen said Russell would be the starting quarterback this week against LSU and in subsequent games. But he also said this week that he is comfortable with both and that "having two starting quarterbacks is a good problem to have."

That probably isn't intended to be a contradiction, but it sounds a lot like one. Prescott is a dual-threat and is Mississippi State's leading rusher with 215 yards and five touchdowns. His passing numbers also compare favorably with Russell's numbers from last season. Russell is a pocket passer and will likely be a little rusty having not played in more than a month, and LSU is not an ideal opponent to work through that against.

With the game being played in Starkville, if a quarterback controversy starts brewing, there is a good chance the home fans could boo their own team.

2. Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas – Florida has the No. 1 rushing defense in the country, allowing 53 yards per game. Arkansas has the SEC's No. 2 rushing offense, averaging 237 yards per game. Something has to give.

Collins has led the way for the Razorbacks (3-2, 0-1), racking up 597 yards in Arkansas' new ground-based offense. In a game between ball control offense that should be low-scoring, it will be Arkansas' running backs who determine the outcome.

Florida's offense is consistent and reliable, and if the Gators don't turn the ball over, the numbers say they will win. Arkansas' ground game has been consistent and reliable and has two players in the top 35 in the country in yards per game – Collins at No. 16 with 119 yards/game and Jonathan Williams at No. 34 with 94 yards/game.

If Arkansas can move the ball consistently against Florida's dominant defense, it has a chance to pull off an upset.

3. James Franklin, QB, Missouri – The Tigers have the SEC's best rushing attack and Vanderbilt has the SEC's No. 10 rushing defense, but Missouri hasn't played tough competition so it's hard to trust those numbers.

Franklin is the undisputed leader for Missouri (4-0), and he has thrown for 1,100 yards and rushed for 200 more. Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-2) has been vulnerable on defense at times and could allow some opportunities for big plays.

This game has serious bowl game implications, especially for Missouri, which could move to within one win of bowl eligibility, with games against SEC east bottom-feeders Kentucky and Tennessee still left to be played. Vanderbilt could use the boost a win would provide as well, otherwise the Commodores might have to win their last three games just to be bowl eligible.

4. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn – The highlight reel from Auburn's game with Ole Miss this week will likely be full of plays by Tre Mason or Corey Grant or the last name on this list. But if Auburn's defense proves vulnerable to the dual-threat attack of Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, like it was against Prescott three weeks ago, Marshall may be asked to deliver in the fourth quarter again.

5. Jeff Scott, RB, Ole Miss – Wallace gets all the publicity for Ole Miss, but the Rebels' offense doesn't work without a lot of input from Scott.

Scott has 358 rushing yards in four games and is averaging 8.3 yards per carry despite a 28-yard effort against Alabama last week. Auburn's defense is nowhere near as dominant as Alabama's, so Scott should find plenty of room to run. If he can find lanes, and open the read-option and passing game for Wallace, the Rebels (3-1, 1-1) should be in a good position to get a win ahead of matchups with Texas A&M and LSU.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • News 13 Poll

  • Which team do you think is most likely to pull off an upset this week?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Tennessee over Georgia
    13%
    12 votes
    Mississippi State over LSU
    2%
    2 votes
    Kentucky over South Carolina
    7%
    6 votes
    Arkansas over Florida
    78%
    71 votes
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