BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —Tennessee junior defensive end Derek Barnett has been named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for Week 7, as announced by the Southeastern Conference office on Monday.
This week’s honor marks the third time this season that Barnett has garnered SEC weekly accolades. He was previously named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 5 and SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week for Week 4.
Tennessee has collected five SEC weekly honors this season. In addition to Barnett’s three defensive honors, Joshua Dobbs was SEC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 4 and Riley Lovingood was SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 5.
Against No. 1/1 Alabama on Saturday, Barnett recorded three tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and one interception.
On Alabama’s second drive of the second quarter, Barnett sacked Jalen Hurts for a 14-yard loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by UT’s Quay Picou at the Crimson Tide’s 11-yard line. That turnover resulted in points as it set up a seven-yard touchdown run by Alvin Kamara to pull the Vols to within 14-7. The sack was the 26th of Barnett’s career, giving him sole possession of third place on Tennessee’s all-time sack list. He is now six sacks away from tying Reggie White (32) for the UT all-time record and three away from matching Leonard Little’s 28 in second place.
With 26.0 career sacks, Barnett ranks second among active FBS players.
Barnett halted Alabama’s fourth possession of the second quarter when he intercepted a pass by Hurts and returned it seven yards to the UT 32-yard line. Teammate Shy Tuttle batted the ball high up in the air and Barnett caught the ball with Hurts draped over him for the first interception of his career. Barnett is the first UT defensive lineman to intercept a pass since Jacques Smith picked off Auburn’s Nick Marshall on Nov. 9, 2013.
Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) will next face South Carolina (2-4, 1-4 SEC) on Oct. 29, 2016, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The Vols’ next home game isNov. 5 against Tennessee Tech.