Tennessee running back Eric Gray was named the SEC Freshman of the Week following his breakout performance Saturday against Vanderbilt.
The Memphis, Tennessee native had seen sparse playing time the second half of the season finding himself behind Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan on the depth chart.
Gray got his chance on Saturday, as Chandler didn’t play due to an ankle injury. Gray made the most of his opportunity running for 246 yards and making three touchdowns on 25 carries.
“That’s just a credit to the (offensive) line,” Gray said postgame. “I came into the game prepared like I always do, it just broke for me tonight. Credit to the o-line, credit to the coaches.”
Gray’s 246 yards was the most ever by a Tennessee freshman, breaking Jamal Lewis’ previous record from 1997. Gray’s performance wasn’t just special among freshman; he tallied the fifth most rushing yards in a game by a Tennessee runner.
Gray entered the game without a rushing touchdown but recorded touchdowns from four, 56 and 94-yards in the win.
Gray’s 94-yard touchdown was the longest by a freshman in SEC history and was also the second longest run in Tennessee history.
Tennessee’s win over Vanderbilt gave the Vols a 7-5 record, and they will now wait a week to learn their bowl destination.