The best players play their best on the biggest stage. The SEC is no exception to this concept with a slew of standouts seeing their biggest performances in bowl games. Here’s a look at five spectacular SEC bowl performances of the last decade.
Jamarcus Russell, 2007 Sugar Bowl: Before becoming one of the biggest draft busts in the history of the NFL, Jamarcus Russell was one of the best quarterbacks in college football. Russell led No. 3 LSU to a 41-14 win against No. 17 Notre Dame in his final game by throwing for 332 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 21-of-34 passing, while also rushing for 16 yards and a score on five attempts.
Tim Tebow, 2010 Sugar Bowl: Tim Tebow was one of the most celebrated players in SEC history. The senior capped off a storied career with a 51-24 win against No. 4 Cincinnati in the 2010 AllState Sugar Bowl. Tebow threw for 482 yards and three touchdowns on 31-of-35 passing, while rushing for 51 yards and a score on 14 attempts.
Jadeveon Clowney, 2013 Outback Bowl: Clowney was becoming the most talked about defensive player in football during his second season. The sophomore emerged as one of the nation’s best pass rushers with a natural athleticism unseen at the position. But his signature moment came in the 2013 Outback Bowl when he provided the biggest hit of the past decade by steamrolling through Michigan running back Vincent Smith and reaching over to recover the fumble with one hand. Clowney finished the game with three tackles, including two for loss.
Johnny Manziel, 2013 Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Manziel was the most polarizing figure in college football during his redshirt sophomore season. After becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and following an offseason of constant media attention, the quarterback continued his success as one of the nation’s top players. In his final game, Manziel led the Aggies to a 52-48 win against No. 23 Duke by throwing for 382 yards and four touchdowns on 30-of-38 passing. He also ran for 73 yards and a score on 11 attempts.
Connor Shaw, 2014 Capital One Bowl: South Carolina’s most celebrated quarterback had a memorable performance in his final game. Shaw led the Gamecocks to a 34-24 victory against No. 22 Wisconsin by throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-25 passing. The senior also recorded a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown, taking part in each of South Carolina’s five scores.