Missouri senior Marcus Murphy is the SEC’s special teams player of the week and Shane Ray picked up the SEC’s defensive lineman of the week award, the conference announced Monday evening.
Murphy became the first player in Tigers history to score touchdowns on a kickoff return and punt return in the same game Saturday during a 42-13 win at Florida.
He returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and later added an 82-yard touchdown on a punt return in the third quarter.
Incredibly, Murphy and his teammates and coaches said the latter return came with the punt safe team on the team, which is basically the starting defense with a return specialist subbed on for a safety to guard against a fake.
He also added a 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, becoming the first college football player in 15 seasons with a rushing, punt return and kickoff return touchdown in the same game.
Murphy entered the game tied with Jeremy Maclin for the most career punt/kickoff return touchdowns in Missouri history, but he now stands alone atop the list with seven, including four — three punts and on kickoff return touchdown — during the 2012 season.
He leads the SEC in all-purpose yards per game this season after totaling a career-best 224 at Florida.
Ray had two sacks of the Tigers’ six sacks against the Gators, who had allowed only five in five games entering Saturday.
It was Ray’s fourth two-sack game of the season and leaves him 1 1/2 shy of Missouri’s single-season record — 11 1/2 by Michael Sam (2013) and Aldon Smith (2009).
Ray also forced a fumble, which senior defensive end Markus Golden returned 21 yards for a touchdown.
Ray, who was the SEC defensive player of the week for his performance against Central Florida and the defensive lineman of the week after South Carolina, finished with six tackles and also had a quarterback pressure in the victory.