SEC Showdowns and Triumphs: SEC coaches and media folks, casting their votes for preseason All-SEC teams, missed out on recognizing the prowess of Missouri’s seasoned player, Cody Schrader. A sixth-year senior with a unique journey from Division II Truman State, Schrader wasn’t in the initial six running backs chosen by either coaches or media.
Fast forward to the heart of the season, and guess who’s leading the SEC in rushing yards? You got it—Cody Schrader. This Missouri walk-on, making waves in 2022, has racked up an impressive 807 yards on 140 carries across 8 games, guiding the 7-1 Tigers.
While Kentucky’s Ray Davis may reclaim the rushing lead in the upcoming matchup with Tennessee, Schrader can relish his top spot for a few days. Hailing from St. Louis, Schrader earned the title of SEC Offensive Player of the Week after a stellar performance against South Carolina, rushing 26 times for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns in Missouri’s 34-12 victory.
In four clashes against SEC rivals this season, Schrader boasts 75 carries for 404 yards and 7 touchdowns. It’s a personal journey for him, proving doubters wrong after earning a scholarship early last season.
At 5-9 and 214 pounds, Schrader’s not the typical “great athlete,” but his ability to outlast teams in the fourth quarter sets him apart. As he puts it, that’s when games are won, especially in the fierce competition of the SEC.
In other trending news, Mississippi State’s senior linebacker Nathaniel Watson snagged the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week title with a whopping 14 tackles in the Bulldogs’ 7-3 triumph over Arkansas. This marks the sixth consecutive game where an opponent of the Razorbacks earned a conference honor.
The streak began with BYU’s junior end Tyler Batty, who claimed the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after a stellar performance against Arkansas. It continued with LSU’s senior quarterback Jayden Daniels, who earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week, and Texas A&M’s senior Ainias Smith, securing SEC Special Teams Player of the Week with an 82-yard punt return in the game against the Razorbacks.
Ole Miss’s senior linebacker Ashanti Cistrunk added to the streak, being named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his impactful play in the Rebels’ 27-20 victory over the Razorbacks.
The streak concludes this week as Arkansas enjoys an open date on Saturday.
In a homecoming game, Georgia’s junior quarterback Carson Beck, hailing from Jacksonville, Fla., is set to lead the No. 1 Bulldogs against rival Florida. Beck, in his seventh game as Stetson Bennett’s replacement, has showcased consistency, boasting a 73.6% completion rate, 2,147 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.
Beck’s poised to set Georgia’s completion percentage record for a season, aiming to surpass Bennett’s 68.3% mark from the previous season.
Before Mississippi State’s recent 7-3 victory over Arkansas, the Bulldogs faced a challenging streak, losing 69 consecutive games where they scored seven or fewer points, according to AL.com. Their last win with fewer than seven points was on Nov. 1, 1980, when they secured a 6-3 victory over No. 1 Alabama in Jackson, Miss.
Missouri’s recent triumph, a 34-12 win over South Carolina, propelled them to the No. 16 spot in The Associated Press poll. It’s their highest ranking since 2014.
In a milestone achievement, LSU Coach Brian Kelly notched his 300th career victory as the Tigers dominated Army with a 62-0 win. Kelly’s coaching journey spans 33 seasons, with a record of 300-103-2 across various teams, including Division II Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and LSU.
As for Alabama’s Coach Nick Saban, even with an open date, he’s not slowing down at 72, born on Halloween. Saban jokingly brushed off concerns, pointing to his energetic coaching staff as the real young bucks.
A noteworthy incident involving Michigan staff member Connor Stalions surfaced, with reports of ticket purchases for the 2021 and 2022 SEC Championship Game. Stalions is now under investigation for potential sign-stealing, with the focus on in-person video use, against NCAA rules.
The saga began with Georgia playing in both championship games, losing to Alabama in 2021 and triumphing over LSU in 2022, leading to national championships. Stalions’ role in the investigation has resulted in suspension.
In a post-game interview after Alabama’s 34-20 victory over Tennessee, Volunteers Coach Josh Heupel faced a question about officiating bias favoring the Crimson Tide. Heupel’s response, marked by a 15-second silence, concluded with a simple “Next question.” Despite Tennessee’s eight penalties for 55 yards compared to Alabama’s single penalty for 5 yards, Heupel’s focus remains on the game.
This snapshot of SEC highlights captures the dynamic and competitive spirit of the conference, where every game and player’s journey adds to the rich tapestry of college football.