Lester's Thefts Earn SEC Honor

Robert Lester

Was Robert Lester one play away from not being the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week? Maybe. Lester had a good game against Arkansas going into the final minutes, but he turned that into an outstanding game with his second interception of the contest.



And so Robert Lester, the 6-2, 206-pound sophomore safety from Foley, is the SEC Defensive Player of the Week following Alabama's 24-20 win over Arkansas in Fayetteville Saturday.

This week, Lester and his Crimson Tide teammates continue as the nation's number one team. And the Bama defense has another big challenge as the seventh-ranked Florida Gators come to Tuscaloosa. CBS has selected the game for prime time coverage with kickoff from Bryant-Denny Stadium scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT.

Lester was first seen in the Arkansas game in an unsuccessful pursuit of Razorbacks tailback Ronny Wingo, who was on the receiving end of a 43-yard Ryan Mallett pass on the second play of the game. That touchdown gave the Hogs a 7-0 lead. Bama would tie the score at 7-7, but did not take the lead until after Lester's late interception.

Lester recorded seven total tackles (five solos) and a career-high two interceptions in Alabama's win overt 10th-ranked Arkansas.

Lester's second interception of the game came at the 4:40 mark in the fourth quarter at the Arkansas 45-yard line and was returned 33 yards to the Arkansas 12-yard line to set up the Tide's game-winning touchdown.

His first interception of the game was in the second quarter in the end zone to stop an Arkansas drive.

The Alabama defense held Arkansas to 15 points under its season average (35.3 points) with just three Razorbacks point coming in the second half.

Lester's four interceptions leads the SEC and tied for second in the NCAA.

Mark Ingram, who scored the winning touchdown following Lester's second interception, came in for mention by the SEC office, but it was tough to win the Offensive Player of the Week award. Ingram had a very good day, 24 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns and two pass receptions for 27 yards.

But the Offense award went to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who ran for three touchdowns and passed for two in a win over South Carolina. The Freshman of the Week was quarterback/wide receiver Trey Burton of Florida, who will bring his game to Tuscaloosa Saturday. Burton had six touchdowns in a win over Kentucky.

Special Teams Player of the Week was Patrick Peterson of LSU, Offensive Lineman Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State, and Defensive Lineman Mike Blanc of Auburn.

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