It was a weekend of upsets and close games in the SEC, and this week’s All-SEC squad is reflective of that. Un-favored Arkansas and Mississippi State earned victories, and Georgia halted a two-game losing streak with a win in the final seconds over Kentucky.
We break down the best players at each position during Week 10 play in the conference.
QB NICK FITZGERALD, Mississippi State
209 passing yards, 2 TDs, 182 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Fitzgerald would be the leading rusher on nine SEC teams, if the season ended today. Instead, the Mississippi State quarterback played a major role in essentially ending Texas A&M’s College Football Playoff hopes. A week after accounting for 7 touchdowns against Samford, Fitzgerald posted his fifth 100-yard rushing effort of the year as the Bulldogs upended No. 4 Texas A&M in impressive fashion.
RB RAWLEIGH WILLIAMS III, Arkansas
148 yards, 2 TDs, 22 rec. yards
Thanks to Williams, Florida now has the fourth-best rushing defense in the SEC, a drop of two spots from the prior week. The Arkansas sophomore rushed for his fifth-career 100-yard performance of the season (sixth of his career) and second multi-touchdown game to lead the Razorbacks past the Gators. Along with quarterback Austin Allen, the duo is one of five Power Five QB-RB tandems averaging 250 passing yards and 100 yards on the ground this season. The number is six if you count Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, who averages those numbers by himself.
WR FRED ROSS, Mississippi State
98 yards, 2 TDs
Mississippi State lands a wide receiver in this spot for the second straight week. The senior broke Chad Bumphis’ program record for consecutive games with a catch (30) while moving to within 18 yards of Bumphis for the most career receiving yards.
TE EVAN ENGRAM, Ole Miss
75 yards, TD
This spot is basically on permanent loan to Engram. The Ole Miss tight end once again led the Rebels in receiving. In the process, the senior remains the nation’s top tight end with 775 yards to go with 7 touchdowns. Engram broke Barney Poole’s single-season school record for receptions by a tight end when he hauled in his 53rd catch of the year against Georgia Southern. Poole’s mark had stood since 1947.
AUBURN OFFENSIVE LINE
There’s a reason why Auburn has the third-best rushing offense in the nation — remarkable running backs. But someone must clear room for the likes of Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson — the former rushed for more than 150 yards for the fourth consecutive game and became the first Tigers running back to accomplish the feat since Bo Jackson in 1985. The line held Vanderbilt to no sacks, just 4 tackles-for-loss, and even fewer quarterback hurries (3) as the backfield racked up 271 yards on the ground.
DE CHARLES HARRIS, Missouri
8 tackles, 2 sacks
With his 2 sacks against South Carolina in Week 10, Harris passes Jacquies Smith and Kony Ealy for No. 17 on Missouri’s all-time list for career sacks. His pair of takedowns brings his season tally to 5.5 to give him 14.5 during his three years in Columbia.
DT JULIAN ROCHESTER, Georgia
8 tackles, sack, forced fumble
Georgia appears to have its defensive tackle of the future in Rochester. The freshman earned a career-high 8 tackles to give him 15 in the last two games — after posting 14 combined in his first 7 contests.
LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM, Vanderbilt
9 tackles, FR, BLK
Cunningham recovered his second fumble of the year and fifth of his career, but it was the Vanderbilt junior’s acrobatic blocked field-goal attempt that was all the talk in the Commodores’ Week 10 loss to Auburn. Cunningham padded his SEC tackles lead, upping his season mark to 94 takedowns.
DB SANTOS RAMIREZ, Arkansas
5 tackles, INT
Ramirez gets the nod in a game that witnessed two pick-6 touchdowns — the other by Florida’s Duke Dawson for 37 yards. Ramirez led the Razorbacks in tackles and set the tone for the game by taking the Gators’ first play from scrimmage 24 yards for the touchdown and his second career interception. The pick-6 was the fourth of the year for Arkansas, the most for the Hogs defense since 1985.
K RODRIGO BLANKENSHIP, Georgia
4-4 FG (25, 42, 49,25), PAT, 13 points
Blankenship became the first Georgia kicker to boot a game-winning field goal (25 yards) as time expired since 2009 when Blair Walsh connected on a 37-yarder to down Arizona State. He also became the first Bulldog to hit 4 field goals in a game since Marshall Morgan in the 2014 TaxSlayer Bowl against Nebraska. The freshman is now 9 of 10 since taking over kicking duties, including 8 consecutive makes.
KR CHRISTIAN KIRK, Texas A&M
93-yard punt return for TD
Texas A&M fell unceremoniously to Mississippi State in Week 10, but by no fault of Kirk. Kirk followed up his pair of punt return touchdowns last week with another against the Bulldogs. This one ties him for third-longest punt return score in program history. In the process, the sophomore also broke the Aggies’ record for punt return touchdowns in a season, previously held by four players, including himself last year. He now has 5 punt return touchdowns for his career. Oh yeah, and he also hauled in 144 receiving yards, including a 54-yard catch for a touchdown.