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Noah Gardner

The SEC Report Players of the Week 12/4/17: Championship Week

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Noah Gardner:

Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia, 28-7 W vs. Auburn

16-22 183 YDS 2 TD

Jake Fromm did not appear to be a freshman in the headlights, but instead he played with the composure of an upperclassmen. He made quick, concise decisions in accurately distributing the football to his wide receivers. He showcased the potential he has for the remainder of his college career in a confident, strong performance that led Georgia to their first SEC Championship since 2005.

 

Davin Bellamy, LB, Georgia, 28-7 W vs. Auburn

1 TKL, 1 SOLO, 1 SKS, 1 TFL, 1 FF

Davin Bellamy didn’t accumulate a lot of stats, but he made one play in the second quarter of the SEC Championship that made all the difference. As Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham tried to avoid Georgia’s pass rush at the Bulldog 14-yard line, Bellamy was able to deliver a blow from behind forcing Stidham to fumble. Georgia would recover the fumble and march down the field to tie the game at seven. Without the fumble, Auburn could have extended their lead to 10-0 or even 14-0 which would have put the Tigers in a dominant position. The forced fumble was a game changing play that allowed Georgia to get back into the game when it seemed as if the championship was slipping away early.

 

Painter Sharpless:

Ryan Davis, WR, Auburn, 28-7 L vs. Georgia

7 REC 65 YDS 9.3 AVG

Ryan Davis’ performance was one of the few bright spots for Auburn during a tough loss to Georgia. Davis and his teammates moved the ball with ease during the first quarter, but had difficulty keeping an offensive rhythm for the majority of the next three quarters. The junior wide receiver’s solid performance in the SEC Championship will be overshadowed by his monumental contribution to Auburn’s Iron Bowl win. Furthermore, Davis broke Darvin Adam’s single season reception record against Alabama and was arguably Auburn’s most consistent player throughout the season. Davis continued to show an ability to create space and put himself in Jarrett Stidham’s vision during the SEC Championship, but will undoubtedly be disappointed about the year’s final conference game. Davis’ elusive route running and consistent hands made him the most reliable target for Stidham in 2017. That theme continued in a tough conference finale for Auburn.

 

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia, 28-7 W vs. Auburn

13 TKL, 10 SOLO, 1 SKS, 2 TFL, 2 FR

Roquan Smith helped Georgia prove it belonged in the College Football Playoff. Some Bulldog players said that the first loss to Auburn had more to do with mental errors and poorly timed mistakes than Auburn’s execution. After a shaky first quarter, Georgia’s defense looked strong and Smith’s efforts were key to redemption. The Georgia linebacker finished the game with double digit tackle numbers and he added a sack. He and his teammates will look to build their momentum against Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners in the College Football Playoff Semifinals.

The SEC Report Players of the Week 11/27/17: Rivalry Week

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Noah Gardner:

Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn, 26-14 W vs. Alabama

30 CAR 104 YDS 3.5 AVG 1 TD, 3 REC 21 YDS, 1-1 3 YDS 1 TD

When you have as special a player as Kerryon Johnson, you find different ways to get him the football. Johnson recorded production in rushing, receiving and even passing. He earned a lot of tough yards on the ground and helped Auburn move the football in crucial situations. When he went down with an injury late in the fourth quarter, the crowd chanted his name. If you were looking for a Heisman moment for Johnson, that was it.

 

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia, 38-7 W at Georgia Tech

9 TKL, 8 SOLO, 1 SKS, 3 TFL

When playing the triple option, you better have linebackers that can step up and make difficult plays in stopping the run. Roquan Smith did just that on Saturday. As always, he was a major player in stopping the opposing team’s ground game. Considering 46 of Georgia Tech’s 55 plays were runs, Smith played a key role in spoiling Georgia Tech’s game plan.

 

Painter Sharpless:

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn, 26-14 W vs. Alabama

21-28 237 YDS, 12 CAR 51 YDS 4.3 AVG 1 TD

Jarrett Stidham has found a new home at Auburn. In the final game of the 2017 regular season, Stidham was composed and in control. While he only scored one touchdown, it was Stidham’s leadership and poise that helped push Auburn past top-ranked Alabama. His demeanor and ability to control an offense against Nick Saban’s stout defense was no small feat. The Auburn starter completed 75 percent of his passes for 237 yards while adding a rushing touchdown that extended Auburn’s lead to two scores. Stidham has the opportunity to prove he is a championship-caliber quarterback in the coming weeks. In beating Alabama and the top ranked team twice in three weeks, he has created a soft spot in Auburn fans’ hearts for years to come.

 

Deshaun Davis, LB, Auburn, 26-14 W vs. Alabama

7 TKL, 3 SOLO, 1 SKS, 1 TFL

Deshaun Davis isn’t the most physically imposing player on Auburn’s defense, but his high energy and motor have kept Kevin Steele’s defense on track all season. Davis continued his production in Auburn’s biggest game of the year. He finished with seven tackles, three solo and four assisted while adding a sack. Like Stidham, Davis’ numbers alone won’t jump off the page this week, but his role in the win against Alabama was key for another Auburn win.