The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Week 3: Football Players of the Week

91 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Kelly Price | Mississippi State Athletics

OFFENSE
Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

  • Fitzgerald accounted for four touchdowns in the most dominant victory over No. 11 LSU in the series' 111-year history, which also was MSU's largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent since 1942.
  • He completed an efficient 15-of-23 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He added 88 yards rushing, averaging 6.3 yards per carry with two scores on the ground.
  • He finished with 260 yards of total offense and moved into second place in MSU career touchdowns responsible with now 55, surpassing Don Smith.

DEFENSE
Derrick Baity Jr., CB, Kentucky

  • Responsible for three defensive takeaways in the second half of Kentucky's 23-13 win at South Carolina, including a pair of tackles on 4th-and-1 and a pass interception
  • On the first possession of the third quarter, on 4th-and-1 from the UK 49-yard line, he crashed from the corner to tackle running back A.J. Turner, who was brought down for no gain; the change of possession set up a UK drive for a field goal
  • In the fourth quarter, on 4th-and-goal at the UK 1-yard line, he again crashed from the corner to tackle running back Rico Dowdle, who was brought down for no gain to give the ball back to the Wildcats
  • Grabbed a pass interception on South Carolina's final possession
  • Led UK with eight tackles
  • UK limited South Carolina to 13 points; it is the first time in nine years that the Wildcats have held three consecutive opponents to 17 points or less
  • UK limited South Carolina to 54 rushing yards; it is the first time in nine years that the Wildcats have held three consecutive opponents under 100 yards rushing

LaDarius Wiley, S, Vanderbilt

  • Wiley registered a career-high 11 tackles, intercepted a pass and knocked down two other attempts, leading Vanderbilt's defense in an impressive 14-7 victory over No. 18 Kansas State. The win allowed Vanderbilt to go 3-0 for the first time since 2011.
  • Wiley's effort helped spark a Commodore defense effort that limited a K-State offense averaging 55 points and 506 yards to a lone touchdown and 277 total yards.
  • Wiley has been a key contributor on a Commodore defense that ranks No. 1 nationally in scoring defense (4.3 ppg) and total offense (198.3 ypg).
  • It marked Vanderbilt's first home win over a non-SEC foe ranked in the Top 25 since 1946 (7-0 victory over No. 20 N.C. State on Nov. 9, 1946.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Austin MacGinnis, PK, Kentucky

  • Enjoyed a perfect night by making all three field goals and both PATs, totaling 11 points, in UK's 23-13 win at South Carolina
  • Scored all of UK's points in the second half with his trio of field goals, keeping South Carolina at bay
  • Field goals were 27, 44 and 21 yards
  • His 21-yard field goal with 2:07 to play gave UK a two-possession lead, sealing the win for the Wildcats
  • His six pin-point kickoffs kept the ball out of the hands of Gamecock return ace Deebo Samuel
  • Has made 6-of-7 field goals this season, with the only miss coming from 48 yards

FRESHMAN
C.J. Henderson, DB, Florida

  • Henderson recorded an interception in the fourth quarter, running it back for a 16-yard touchdown, the second of his career. He became the first Gator since 1980 to record a pick-six in back-to-back games.
  • Since 1996, he is also the only true freshman in the nation to have returned interceptions for touchdowns in consecutive games. He is one of two true freshmen to have recorded at least one pick-six this season and is the only one to have two under his belt.
  • Through his first two games as a Gator, Henderson is now tied for first in program history for most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a season, with the all-time record for a career being four.
  • Henderson helped account for UF's third consecutive multi-interception game and helped give the Gators their 31st multi-interception game against an FBS team since 2010, which is the most in the SEC during that span.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Darryl Williams, OL, Mississippi State

  • Williams graded out the highest for MSU (99%) in the most dominant win over No. 11 LSU in program history (37-7).
  • He added three knockdowns in the start and paved the way for an MSU rushing attack that racked up 285 yards rushing, the most allowed by LSU since Nov. 14, 2015.
  • Williams has helped anchor a Bulldog line that has issued just one sack all season, the fewest in the league this year. Williams provided protection for 465 yards of total offense.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State

  • Simmons has proved to be one of the SEC's top defensive lineman through three weeks and he did it again in the win over No. 11 LSU.
  • He collected a career-best seven tackles, including a career-high 1.5 sacks for a loss of six yards.
  • He also added two quarterback hurries and dominated the line of scrimmage. The Bulldogs held LSU to 133 yards rushing, its fewest since Nov. 5 last season.