Maze Earns SEC Punt Returns Honor

The good must have overshadowed the bad. Marquis Maze had an outstanding night as a punt return man in relief of Julio Jones against Ole Miss Saturday night, but he did have one bad play. Nevertheless. Alabama nominated Maze for a player honor.



Following Alabama's 23-10 victory over Ole Miss Saturday night, Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban was asked about the performance of Marquis Maze on punt returns. The Crimson Tide coach said that Maze had done a nice job, but that he had made two mistakes on one punt return.

With Ole Miss punter Tyler Campbell booming punts, Maze had some time before the Rebels coverage men could reach him, and he was having great success. So when a ball came to Maze inside the five-yard line, he went ahead and returned it. It was a good result for a moment as Maze crossed the 20-yard line. But when he was hit and fumbled, it was a terrible decision. The turnover led to an Ole Miss field goal.

But as Saban said, when he was good, Maze was very, very good.

As a result, Maze, a 5-10, 182-pound junior wide receiver from Birmingham, is a co-recipient of the Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week Award.

Maze had six punt returns for 125 yards, subbing for the injured Julio Jones, in Alabama's 23-10 win against Ole Miss. The yardage was the third largest punt return yardage total in school history. He also caught three passes for 42 yards.

Maze was joined in the special teams honor by Kentucky punter Ryan Tydlacka.

The SEC also had co-offensive players of the week, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who led the Tigers to a 65-43 win over Arkansas, and Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline for his role in the Wildcats' win over South Carolina.

The defensive player of the week was linebacker Chris White of Mississippi State.

Ben Jones of Georgia was the offensive lineman of the week.

Nick Fairley of Auburn, who helped hold Arkansas to 43 points, was defensive lineman of the week. Fairley knocked Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett out of the game.

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was freshman of the week.

Among others cited for outstanding performances was Alabama safety Mark Barron, who was in on seven tackles (five solo), one for a loss of four yards, and had a pass interception and a quarterback pressure.