Ingram Named SEC Offensive Star
Mark Ingram is a 5-10, 212-pound tailback who was given his eligibility only a few days before Alabama opened the 2009 season on Saturday against Virginia Tech. The Flint, Mich., native made the most of his opportunity.
He was selected SEC Offensive Player of the Week as he rushed for a career-high 150 yards on 26 carries in the Tide's 34-24 win over seventh-ranked Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
He also had three pass receptions for 35 yards.
lngram scored one rushing and one receiving touchdown, both in the deciding fourth quarter as Bama rallied from a 17-16 deficit. Ingram's six-yard lrun put Alabama ahead by 24-17 early in the fourth quarter. His pass reception from quarterback Greg McElroy for 18 yards and a touchdown with 6:35 to play provided the final margin of victory.
In that deciding fourth quarter, Ingram rushed for 81 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown and recorded his touchdown reception.
Ingram's previous rushing high was 113 yards against Arkansas State last year.
Alabama offensive guard Mike Johnson was cited as one of "others" earning recognition. Johnson, a senior left guard, in addition to clearing holes for Ingram to run, did not allow a sack or a hurry by Virginia Tech. He played all 79 offensive snaps as the Tide ran up 498 yards on the Hokies.
And when Ingram was interviewed post-game by ABC's Lisa Salters, he concluded with an answer to a question with "Yes, ma'am," drawing approval from announcers Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit.
The Alabama coaching staff recognized five players of the week following the Crimson Tide's win.
Ingram and McElroy shared offensive honors. McElroy completed 15-of-30 passes for 230 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran eight times for 38 yards.
Rolando McClain was the defensive player of the week after recording two sacks (-19 yards) and five total tackles. The Tide defense held Virginia Tech to 155 total yards and no third down conversions on 12 attempts.
P.J. Fitzgerald and Brian Selman shared the special teams' award. Selman was again perfect on 13 snapping opportunities, recovered a fumble after hustling down on punt coverage, and downed another punt inside the Virginia Tech 5-yard line. Fitzgerald averaged 44.8 yards on five punts with a long of 53 yards while pinning the Hokies inside the 20-yard line three times.
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