Post-season SEC football notebook

As of January 8, the SEC will return seven of its top 10 rushers, six of its top 10 quarterbacks, four of its top 10 receivers and six of its top 10 tacklers.

Who's Back for 2004

Auburn's Carnell Williams is the SEC's leading returning rusher, gaining 1,307 yards on 241 carries and 17 TDs in 2003. LSU's Justin Vincent, Tennessee's Cedric Houston, Miss. State's Nick Turner, South Carolina's Demetris Summers and Daccus Turman and Arkansas' Matt Jones also currently have plans to return in 2004.

Arkansas' Matt Jones, Florida's Chris Leak, Auburn's Jason Campbell, Georgia's David Greene, Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler and Alabama's Brodie Croyle also currently have plans to return in 2004.

LSU's Michael Clayton was the SEC's leading returning receiver with 78 catches for 1,079 yards and 10 TDs in 2003. He recently indicated he'll declare for the NFL draft. But Georgia's Reggie Brown and Fred Gibson along with LSU's Skyler Green and Erik Davis of Vanderbilt currently have plans to return in 2004.

Kentucky ILB Chad Anderson led the SEC tackles per game in 2003 and is the SEC's leading returning tackler in 2004. Anderson recorded 125 stops, 73 of them solos, in 11 games last season. Vanderbilt LB Moses Osemwegie, Kentucky ILB Dustin Williams, Georgia DB Thomas Davis, Alabama LB DeMeco Ryans and Florida LB Channing Crowder also currently have plans to return in 2004.

First team All-SEC performers in 2003 who are currently planning to return next season include: Alabama OL Wesley Britt, LSU C Ben Wilkerson, Auburn RB Carnell Williams, Georgia DE David Pollack, LSU DE Marcus Spears, Georgia ILB Odell Thurman, Florida ILB Channing Crowder, Georgia SAF Thomas Davis, Tennessee P Dustin Colquitt and Ole Miss PK Jonathan Nichols.

Team-by-Team Notes

Alabama ends the year with nine losses, the second-most in school history. Only the 1955 (0-10) team lost more games ... Shaud Williams' 278 rushing attempts this season rank third on the Alabama single-season list, while the 1,356 rushing yards are also the third-most in school history. Williams missed the single-season rushing record by 105 yards. The single-season record is held by Bobby Humphrey, who ran for 1,471 yards as a junior in 1986 ... SS Chris James is the only player in Alabama history to block four punts in a single-season (vs. Oklahoma, Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Hawai'i).

Arkansas reached nine wins for the second-straight season following 2002's 9-5 record ... It marks the first time the Hogs have had back-to-back seasons of at least nine wins since accomplishing the feat five straight years from 1985-89 ... TB Cedric Cobbs was the Offensive MVP of the MainStay Independence Bowl with 141 yards and a TD ... Senior LB Caleb Miller earned Defensive MVP honors after registering 16 stops, with 10 solo tackles ... Jr. CB Ahmad Carroll has announced plans to enter the 2004 NFL Draft joining teammate OT Shawn Andrews on the list.

The Tigers became the first SEC team to win the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl since the bowl's inception in 1998 ... The Tigers had a fourth down conversion in 12 of 13 games this year (except Tennessee) ... RB Carnell Williams scored his 17th touchdown of the year, moving him into a tie for first place, with Bo Jackson (1985), in school history for single-season rushing TDs ... Williams moved into fifth in school history for single season rushing yards (1,307) ... He also moved into fourth for single season all-purpose yards with 1,647 all-purpose yards this season.

UF posted three wins against top 11 opponents this season and played the third toughest schedule in the nation ... Ron Zook became the first coach at UF to lead the Gators to three consecutive wins over ranked teams in the three consecutive weeks ... UF faced a school-record tying six ranked opponents during the regular season and ties the school record of seven ranked opponents, all seven teams ranking in the top 15 ... Florida is the only school in the BCS ranking to own wins over two teams in the top 12 of the BCS poll ... Florida also has faced more teams in the top nine (four) and the top 12 (five) than any other team in the nation.

Georgia earned a share of the SEC Eastern Division title with Tennessee and Florida ... Senior PK Billy Bennett set an SEC and NCAA record for field goals made in a season with 31 this season and in a career (87) ... Bennett's 409 career points is an SEC record and second in NCAA history ... Junior ROV Sean Jones has three blocked kicks this season, which ties a school record ... QB David Greene was named the MVP of the Capital One Bowl, completing 27-of-37 for 327 yards with 3 TDs and no INTs ... This season, Alabama and Kentucky were the only teams to score on their first possession against the Bulldogs.

With 43 punt return yardsvs. Tennessee, Derek Abney became the first NCAA Division I-A player to reach 2,000 receiving yards, 2,000 kickoff return yards, and 1,000 punt return yards in a career. He finished his career with 5,856 career all-purpose yards (2,339 receiving yards, 2,315 kickoff return yards and 1,042 punt return yards), second-highest total in SEC history ... QB Jared Lorenzen finished his career with 10,354 passing yards, the fourth-highest total in SEC history. He also closed out with 10,637 yards of career total offense, third all-time in the SEC.

LSU TIGERS (13-1, 7-1 SEC)
LSU won its second national championship and its first since 1958 with a 21-14 win over Oklahoma in the Nokia Sugar Bowl ... Earlier in the year, the Tigers won its second SEC title in the last three years and its ninth in school history with a 34-13 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game ... 13 wins in a single season is a school record ... Freshman RB Justin Vincent was the MVP of the Sugar Bowl with 117 yards and a TD and also MVP of the SEC Championship Game with 201 yards and 2 TDs ... QB Matt Mauck is now 18-2 all-time as LSU's starting signal-caller.

Ole Miss finishes at 10-3 to record its first 10-win season since going 10-2 in 1971 under Billy Kinard ... The Rebels are 12-3 since ending a five-game losing streak with a 24-12 win over Mississippi State in the 2002 regular-season finale ... QB Eli Manning was named the Offensive MVP of the SBC Cotton Bowl while DE Josh Cooper was the Defensive MVP ... Ole Miss broke single-season school record for first downs (295), total points scored (442) and total offensive yards per game (433.2) ... The Rebel defense has 29 consecutive games with at least one sack ... Ole Miss has at least one sack in 46 of their last 47 games.

Sylvester Croom was named MSU's head coach on Dec. 2, replacing Jackie Sherrill ... State's 10 losses this season marks the first time the Bulldogs have had 10 setbacks in one season since 1988 ... TB Nick Turner had a single-season school record of 1,664 all-purpose yards ... QB Kevin Fant concluded 2003 with a single-season school record of 186 pass completions ... He concluded his Bulldog career second all-time at State in passing yardage (5,631), second in completions (461), second in attempts (866) and third in TD passes (33) ... WR Justin Jenkins had a single-season school record nine TD receptions in 2003.

Tight end Brian Brownlee caught his first two career touchdown passes against Clemson ... The attendance of 83,987 in the CU-USC game was the fifth largest ever at Williams-Brice Stadium ... Total attendance for eight home games this season was 646,754, an average of 80,844 ... Six of eight South Carolina games this season drew more than 80,000 ... The 63 points by Clemson were the most ever by the Tigers against South Carolina ... Deandre Eiland had his second interception of the season and the ninth of his career against the Tigers ... Freshman RB Demetris Summers had 61 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Tennessee earned a share of the SEC Eastern Division title ... The Vols were tied with Georgia and Florida ... Tennessee ends the 2003 season with an 10-3 mark ... Tennessee has won at least 8 games for 15 consecutive seasons, only Michigan (19) and Florida State (17) have a longer current streak ... UT reached 10-win mark for 18th time in school history, including seven times since 1993 this season ... The Vols have been to 15 straight post-season bowl games, the 4th longest current streak in college football ... QB Casey Clausen set UT bowl records for completions (31) and attempts (55) in the Peach Bowl.

Soph. Kwane Doster finished the regular season with 1,039 all-purpose yards, which is currently fifth in the SEC ... Doster has rushed for 386 yards and has 571 kickoff return yards as well as 82 on receptions ... QB Jay Cutler finishes his sophomore campaign, completing 187-of-327 passes for 2,347 yards with 18 TDs and 13 INTs ... Another soph., WR Erik Davis, had 41 receptions for 638 yards and 8 TDs ... His 3.42 catch per game average is ninth in the SEC ... In two seasons, Cutler has 4,472 total offensive yards (692 rushing; 3,780 passing), an average of 186.3 yards per game.

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