At least 1 record each SEC team could break during its bowl game
Records are made to be broken, and bowl games are a great time to break a few. Accordingly, we go around the dozen SEC teams preparing for bowl games, and provide you with a school record which is in danger.
Alabama: Hurts the record book?
Jalen Hurts has been so good it’s a question of which record he might break. But here are two that stand out — rushing yardage and longest pass for Bama in a bowl. While Alabama’s passing bowl record of 412 yards is probably out of reach, the rushing mark of 166 yards could be in play. Hurts has topped 100 yards four times this season, and Washington has seen nothing like him before. The longest completion for Bama in a bowl is 67 yards. Hurts has equaled or surpassed that distance in three games. So look for one or both possibilities.
Arkansas: All-time bowl passing mark
The Razorbacks’ single-game bowl passing record is 338 yards by Bill Montgomery in 1970. Austin Allen broke that total three times this season, including passing for 400 yards against Alabama. Arkansas’s defense has struggled at times, which is bad news for the team but will likely help Allen have a shot at a record passing day.
Auburn: Bowl rushing mark
Despite all of the great backs in Auburn history, the Tigers’ individual bowl rushing record is a mere 195 yards by Tre Mason. Sure, 195 yards sounds like a ton, but few teams have a back like Kamryn Pettway chewing up yards. Pettway eclipsed 195 yards this year against Ole Miss and ended up three yards shy of that number against Arkansas. Five times in his eight games played, Pettway reached at least 152 rushing yards.
LSU: Single-season sack record
In the history of LSU football, the top single-season individual sack total was an even dozen by Oliver Lawrence in 1989. Sophomore Arden Key has 10.5 sacks this season, and while he has been banged up, he has to be almost salivating about the possibility of playing against a porous Louisville line in the Citrus Bowl. If he can play, Key may well bring down QB Lamar Jackson twice to set the record.
Mississippi State: Top single-season rushing total
Nick Fitzgerald wasn’t supposed to be setting records. The plan was that he would be an adequate replacement at quarterback for Dak Prescott. And while Fitzgerald’s passing numbers won’t match Prescott’s, he enters State’s bowl game with 1,243 rushing yards, third highest in State’s history. The record is 148 yards away. Fitzgerald topped 100 yards rushing seven times this season and topped 148 on three occasions. Not bad for a first-time starter!
Texas A&M: Most catches in a season
Christian Kirk nabbed 80 passes in 2015, which was the third most in a single season in A&M history. For an encore? Well, he has 77 grabs, which places him 12 catches off the school record. Kirk caught 12 passes earlier this season against South Carolina, and had 10 grabs in last year’s bowl game against Louisville. So he has a puncher’s chance at the record. Next year, Kirk will probably lay waste to the rest of the school’s receiving records.
Florida: First bowl pick-6 since 2011
Florida’s defense is world class, and if the Gators are going to succeed in their matchup with Iowa, the defense will have to make some big plays. The last pick-6 in a bowl by a Gators defender came from Ahmad Black in 2011 against Penn State. With Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson roaming the Gators secondary, Black could get some company in the Florida record book.
Georgia: Chubb runs up the charts
Nick Chubb almost can’t help becoming Georgia’s second leading all-time rusher in its bowl matchup with TCU. Chubb is in third place now with 3,282 yards, three behind current 2nd place finisher Todd Gurley. Chubb, still almost 2,000 yards shy of Herschel Walker’s UGA career record, owns Georgia’s bowl rushing record with 266 yards. Perhaps, with a few weeks to rest and recover, he’ll be able to make a run at that mark.
Kentucky: Rod Stewart’s 152 yards rushing in a bowl
UK’s bowl rushing record was set by Rod “Not THAT Rod” Stewart in the 1976 Peach Bowl. The 2016 Wildcats have a couple of big-play threats in running backs Stanley “Boom” Williams and Benny Snell. Each has had games this year with over 152 yards rushing, and in what figures to be a runfest with Georgia Tech, either (or both) could break Stewart’s mark.
South Carolina: Longest bowl field goal
Elliott Fry has been a bright spot for a beleaguered Carolina offense this season. He’s also a rare veteran on the Gamecocks, and he could get a chance at the longest field goal in USC bowl history. Collin Mackie’s 49 yard kick against LSU in the 1987 Gator Bowl is the current standard. Fry hit a 55-yard kick to win Carolina’s opener against Vanderbilt, and it would be a great story if he could close the year with a record-long field goal for his team.
Tennessee: Reggie White’s 32 career sacks
Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett had spent three years chasing White’s mark, and he tied the record in the Vols’ season-ending loss to Tennessee. Accordingly, Barnett will spend the Music City Bowl trying to top White. Of course, Barnett could return for another season in Knoxville, but because he is a likely first-round NFL draft pick, it’s probably now or never for Barnett.
Vanderbilt: Zac Stacy’s 107 yards rushing in a bowl
Ralph Webb owns pretty much every Vandy rushing record by now. One he hasn’t claimed is the top mark for rushing yardage in a bowl, which Zac Stacy nabbed in the 2012 Music City Bowl. But this will be Webb’s first bowl game, and as one of the SEC’s toughest and more durable backs, he has a fine shot at the record. Webb may or may not choose to forego his senior season, so he could have the added incentive of making his final Vandy game a memorable one.