Week 11 of the 2017 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments from the SEC. Auburn delivered the weekend's biggest statement, as coach Gus Malzahn's team dominated Georgia on both sides of the ball en route to a 40-17 victory. And thanks to Alabama's rally in the fourth quarter against Mississippi State, the Iron Bowl in Week 13 will have the SEC West title - and potentially a playoff berth - at stake. Elsewhere in the SEC, Missouri beat Tennessee 50-17, LSU knocked off Arkansas, Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 44-21, South Carolina won over Florida, and Ole Miss and Texas A&M picked up wins in non-conference play.
With the 11th weekend of the 2017 season in the books, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor some of the top performances from the SEC. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, team, freshman and unsung hero from Week 11:
SEC Week 11 College Football Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
Georgia’s defense came into Saturday’s game against Auburn ranked as one of the best in the SEC. However, it was no match for the Tigers’ offense on Saturday afternoon. Johnson gashed a standout Georgia defense for 167 yards on 32 carries and added two catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Johnson was the catalyst for an offense that recorded 488 yards (6.9 per play) and accumulated 40 points.
Defensive Player of the Week: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Injuries are taking a toll on Alabama’s linebacker unit, but Evans remains a constant force for coach Nick Saban. He recorded nine tackles (2.5 for a loss), one sack and a quarterback hurry in Saturday’s win over Mississippi State.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Brian Daboll, Alabama
Alabama’s offense was on the field for just 57 plays in Saturday’s win over Mississippi State, but Daboll’s group made the most of their chances. The Crimson Tide averaged 7.8 yards per play and posted two key scoring drives late in the fourth quarter. With Alabama trailing 24-17, Daboll’s offense went 82 yards on 10 plays to tie the game. After a 10-play drive resulted in a missed field goal, the Crimson Tide got the ball back after a stop on defense and went 68 yards on six plays in under a minute to secure the victory.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Kevin Steele, Auburn
Auburn’s defense came into Saturday’s game against Georgia with a clear priority: Stop the run. The Tigers did that and plenty more in Saturday’s 40-17 win over the Bulldogs. Steele’s defense limited Georgia to 230 total yards (3.8 per play) and just 46 of that came on the ground. Auburn generated four sacks, five tackles for a loss and limited the Bulldogs to just three third-down conversions of 14 attempts. After Georgia went 70 yards on its first possession, the Tigers limited the Bulldogs to just 37 yards on its next eight drives.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Nick Starkel, QB, Texas A&M
Starkel opened the year as Texas A&M’s No. 1 quarterback but suffered a significant leg injury was sidelined until late October. The redshirt freshman returned to the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against New Mexico and torched the Lobos for 416 yards and one score on 21 completions.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
Williams was a key cog in the defensive front for Alabama in Saturday night’s win over Mississippi State. He recorded four tackles (one for a loss) and one quarterback hurry.
Team of the Week: Auburn
Saturday’s showdown between Georgia and Auburn was supposed to be one of the must-see matchups of Week 11. Instead, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry turned into a one-sided affair, with coach Gus Malzahn leading the Tigers to a huge victory. Auburn dominated up front on defense, limiting the Bulldogs to just 46 yards on the ground. With the ground game held in check, Georgia’s offense was never able to consistently move the ball through the air. Auburn’s offense was balanced (251 via the pass and 237 on the ground) and averaged 6.9 yards per play against one of the SEC’s top defenses. Running back Kerryon Johnson consistently found yardage against the Bulldogs and put the game away for good with a 55-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. The win over Georgia also sets up a huge showdown in the Iron Bowl against Alabama and will decide the winner of the SEC West.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Jordan Ta’amu, QB, Ole Miss
Ta’amu has been on fire since taking over for an injured Shea Patterson at quarterback and was prolific once again in Saturday’s win over Louisiana. He completed 28 of 36 passes for 418 yards and three touchdowns and added two rushing scores versus the Ragin’ Cajuns.