LSU defensive end Lewis Neal named SEC defensive player of the week; Vadal Alexander offensive lineman of the week _lowres

Lewis Neal had three sacks on Saturday. (Travis Spradling)

Lewis Neal has gone from reserve defensive tackle to star defensive end.

Neal is the Southeastern Conference’s defensive player of the week after his breakout game during his breakout season. Neal had 10 tackles and three sacks in the 35-28 win over then-No. 8 Florida.

LSU offensive lineman Vadal Alexander was the conference’s offensive lineman of the week – the fourth time the Tigers have pulled in a pair of honors in one week. Alexander paved the way for an LSU running game that racked up 221 yards.

Neal’s seven sacks through six games this season is tied for eighth nationally and is second in the league, trailing Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett’s 8.5 sacks. The junior from North Carolina returned to his defensive end position in the spring after playing tackle last season – a year in which he rarely saw the field.

Neal was one of a host of LSU defenders to play every snap in the fifth-ranked Tigers’ win over the Gators. He harassed UF QB Treon Harris throughout the game, hurrying him three other times and deflecting a pass.

He’ll have plenty of chances to do that more this week. LSU (6-0, 4-0 SEC) hosts a Western Kentucky team that passes the ball an average of nearly 40 times a game.

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