Auburn, Ala.--Win an SEC football championship and awards are sure to follow. The 2013 Auburn Tigers are not an exception to the rule.
On Monday junior running back Tre Mason was named Associated Press SEC Offensive Player of the Year while Gus Malzahn was honored as the SEC Coach of the Year after his Tigers defeated Missouri 59-42 on Saturday in the league championship game to improve to 12-1.
Mason was joined on the AP All-SEC first team by offensive tackle Greg Robinson and defensive end Dee Ford.
Asked if he believes Mason is worthy of being considered for the Heisman Trophy, Malzahn said, “Oh, yeah. He is one of the best players in college football, there is no doubt. He proved that.”
Junior center Reese Dismukes, junior tight end C.J. Uzomah and senior cornerback Chris Davis are second team all-league picks while junior quarterback Nick Marshall, senior punter Steven Clark, junior safety Robenson Therezie and junior defensive tackle Gabe Wright received honorable mention from AP.
Also on Monday four Tigers received invitations to play in the Senior Bowl all-star game. The group includes Davis, Ford, fullback Jay Prosch and kicker Cody Parkey.
Mason was named MVP?of the SEC Championship Game after setting a record for rushing yards in the game with 304. His 46 carries was also a title game record.
For the season Mason has rushed for 1,621 yards, the second-best total for a single season in Auburn history behind Bo Jackson’s Heisman Trophy year (1,786 in 1985).
Mason is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and 124.7 rushing yards per contest. With an SEC title game record four rushing touchdowns vs. Missouri, Mason has 22 for the season. That previous record was 20 set by Cam Newton in 2010 on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. He has rushed for a score in 10 straight contests.
Tre Mason runs vs. Missouri.
In Auburn’s four appearances vs. teams ranked in the Top 10, Mason has averaged 194.5 rushing yards per contest and scored eight touchdowns. His average rushing yards per game is 143.2 vs. SEC opponents.
Mason also set an AU single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,137, breaking Jackson’s mark of 1,859 in 1985.
The junior’s 304 rushing yards in the SEC Championship game are the second most in Auburn history behind 307 from Curtis Kuykendall vs. Miami in 1944. Mason’s yardage vs. Missouri is the fifth highest rushing total in SEC history.
In his first year as head coach of the Tigers, Malzahn has led the biggest season-to-season turnaround in Auburn history with AU improving from 3-9 to 12-1 and from 0-8 in SEC play to 8-1. If the Tigers defeated Florida State in the BCS Championship Game it will be the biggest turnaround in college football history.
Also on Monday he was named one of eight finalists for the College Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America. Others on the list include Art Briles (Baylor), David Cutcliffe (Duke), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), George O'Leary (UCF), Gary Pinkel (Missouri) and David Shaw (Stanford).
Dismukes, a three-year starter for the Tigers, was named a finalist on Monday for the Rimington Award presented to the top center in college football.
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