After three consecutive years of devastating losses to South Carolina, leading a defensive-minded pasting of the Gamecocks was probably sweet enough for Cale Garrett. However, it looks like the senior will have to deal with more than just the win.
On Monday, the SEC announced Garrett as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week.
Garrett is the second Missouri linebacker to win the award this season after Nick Bolton took home the honors for his stellar play against West Virginia.
Looking at the numbers, Garrett was one of the strongest performers for a defensive group that locked down the South Carolina offense. He co-led the team with nine tackles (with Bolton, because of course), but it was likely his heads-up fumble recovery in the opening minutes that earned him the honors. It was a textbook, “high football IQ,” play — Garrett noticed a small detail (Ryan Hilinski dropping the ball behind him) that no one else, including the referees, had. It was crucial, though, gaining the early lead for a team that was struggling to find any offensive momentum.
Garrett has long been celebrated as the quarterback of the Missouri defense, and the honor is his second SEC distinction of the season. He was previously picked as part of the SEC Coaches’ First-Team All Conference Defense.
Congratulations, Cale! Here’s to more awards in your final year as a Tiger!