Alabama’s Henry, Griffith Earn SEC Honors

Alabama junior running back Derrick Henry and junior placekicker Adam Griffith earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week recognition following the Crimson Tide’s 29-13 win over Auburn in Auburn Saturday. They were joined by six other Bama players who earned recognition from the Tide coaching staff.

The Alabama win over Auburn pushed the Crimson Tide record to 11-1, including a 7-1 mark that puts Bama in this week’s SEC Championship Game against East Division champion Florida. Kickoff Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta is at 3 p.m. CST (4 Eastern) with CBS televising the game.

Derrick Henry earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the fifth time this season after a historic performance in the Iron Bowl. Henry ran for a career-best 271 yards on 46 carries and added one touchdown, setting a school record for carries in a game while single-handedly outgaining Auburn’s total offensive output of 260 yards. He also recorded the most rushing yards in Iron Bowl history, surpassing Bo Jackson’s previous single-game record of 256 yards set in 1983. This was the fourth time in the last six games Henry has crossed the 200-yard rushing mark, becoming the first Alabama running back and only the third player in SEC history to record four 200-yard rushing games in one season. The others are Heisman Trophy winners Herschel Walker of Georgia and Bo Jackson of Auburn.

With his performance in Auburn, Henry set the Alabama single-season record for rushing yards with 1,797, passing Trent Richardson’s previous mark of 1,679 yards set in 2011. He broke free for a 25-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to extend his school record streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to 17 games, the longest active streak in the country and the most by an SEC player in the last 20 seasons. The run gave Henry 22 rushing touchdowns on the season, passing Trent Richardson (21) for the most by any player in school history. He leads the nation in rushing touchdowns and rushing yards, while leading the SEC in scoring.

Adam Griffith was selected for his second Special Teams Player of the Week honor this season after a record performance against the Tigers. The junior placekicker nailed all five of his field goal attempts, including three from 40 yards or more, to become the first Alabama player to make five field goals in Iron Bowl history. He also hit both extra point attempts to account for 17 points scored, the second most in a single game in school history. Griffith’s five field goals were the most by an Alabama kicker since Jeremy Shelley had five in the 2012 BCS National Championship game and tied for the second most in a game in school history.

In addition to Henry and Griffith, the Bama coaching staff selected center Ryan Kelly and wide receiver Ardarius Stewart on offense; linebacker Reuben Foster, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, and end Jonathan Allen on defense; and cover man Keith Holcombe on special teams.

Kelly, who has been honored for back-to-back weeks, continues be an important asset for the offensive line, leading a unit that helped pave the way for 460-yards of total offense against the Tigers. He has not allowed a sack in three consecutive weeks and graded out at 90 percent with one knockdown block.

Stewart hauled in eight receptions for 81 yards, both team highs, while adding one score for the Crimson Tide. He caught two huge receptions: A leaping catch for a 17-yard gain and a first down to put Adam Griffith in position for his fourth field goal of the first half, giving the Tide a 12-6 lead heading into the break, and a 34-yard pass in the end zone from Jake Coker, who successfully escaped the sack of two separate Auburn defenders before throwing the deep pass for the score. Stewart is ranked second in receiving for UA heading into the SEC Championship with 536 yards and is averaging 10.7 yards per catch.

Foster and Humphrey tied for second in tackles for the Crimson Tide, with six. Foster had one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Foster helped lead a defense that limited Auburn to just one yard rushing in the entire second half after allowing 90 yards on the ground in the first half of play. Humphrey provided insurance on the outside, notching six tackles most of which came on sweeps and runs. His coverage in the secondary played a huge part in limiting the Tigers to a lowly 3-of-15 on third downs. Allen continued to be a force along the defensive front, recording five tackles of his own, with three of those coming on one drive that led to a missed Auburn field goal.

Holcombe, who has seen action in every game this season, earned his first nod from the UA coaching staff after recording one tackle on special teams coverage and helping to limit the Tigers to just one punt return.

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