Berry SEC defensive player of week

Tennessee safety Eric Berry is this week's SEC Defensive Player of the Week.

The Fairburn, Ga., native had a season-high 10 tackles and his second career sack Saturday night to lead the Vols past Mississippi State. More noteworthy, Berry broke a nearly 60-year-old SEC record Saturday night with his 72-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Just a sophomore, Berry becomes the SEC career interception return leader with 397 yards on just 10 interceptions in his 21st career game. The yardage total breaks the previous mark of 379 set by Mississippi's Bobby Wilson from 1946-49. Florida State's Terrell Buckley (1989-91) holds the NCAA major college record for career interception return yards with 501.

Berry now has five interceptions this season for 175 yards and a touchdown. His interception returns this season have gone for 0, 1, 48, 54 and now 72 (TD). Berry leads the SEC and is tied for the national lead in interceptions. The Vols lead the SEC with 14 interceptions as a team and are tied for the national lead.

Berry has intercepted a pass in each of the last three games.

Last season, Berry broke a 37-year-old Tennessee record with 222 return yards on five interceptions. His interception returns went for 96 (TD), 13, 37, 61 and 15. The previous school mark of 177 was set by Bobby Majors in 1970. Only Florida's Joe Brodsky in 1956 with 244 had more interception return yards by an SEC player in a season.

Last weekend at Georgia, Berry broke a 39-year-old Tennessee record for career interception return yards with his 54-yard return. The previous school mark of 305 was held jointly by Mike Jones (1967-69) and Tim Priest (1968-70).

Other SEC honorees this week were: Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno (offense), Vanderbilt P Brett Upson (special teams), Alabama OG Mike Johnson (offensive line), LSU DE Tyson Jackson (defensive line) and Kentucky WR/PR Randall Cobb (freshman).

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