Predicting top performers in the SEC for week three

SEC play opens for some of the SEC West, while other SEC teams play less-challenging opponents. Who could take advantage and put up eye-opening numbers in week three?

BRISTOL,TN - SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 - Quarterback Josh Dobbs #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tennessee Volunteers at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. Photo By Ruth Dudley/Tennessee Athletics

Aside from the Battle at Bristol, there weren’t many notable games in week two. SEC play opens for several schools this week, with all eyes on Oxford, Mississippi, when Alabama comes to town. Some of the SEC get a bit of an easier week after big games in week two. Here are the players that will use their matchups to put up big numbers this week.

Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB

Hurts is the first true freshman to start for Alabama since 1984, which should tell you all you need to know about the young sensation. He put up video-game numbers in his first collegiate appearance against a USC secondary loaded with some of the nation’s top talent. Hurts threw for four touchdowns off the bench against the Trojans, then started last week against Western Kentucky and threw for just under 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Florida State’s freshman quarterback Deondre Francois dropped over 400 passing yards on opening weekend against the Rebels, so look for a similar performance from Hurts. This may be the year Alabama finally gets Ole Miss off their back.

Leonard Fournette, LSU RB 

The preseason Heisman favorite is an easy choice to break out this week. LSU just made a quarterback switch that the coaching staff hoped they wouldn’t have to make all season, so the Tigers should rely on Fournette now more than ever. Against Wisconsin, he rushed 23 times for 138 yards (six yards per carry) while adding 38 receiving yards on only three targets. Unfortunately, he tweaked his ankle and had to sit out last week. He should now be healthy and in the mix as LSU opens conference play this week against Mississippi State. Last year, Fournette rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Bulldogs. Look for more of the same this season from a rested Leonard Fournette. Oh, and it can’t hurt that the Tigers will be debuting their new “Gridiron Gold” uniforms under the lights in Baton Rouge.

 

Josh Dobbs, Tennessee QB

In a less exciting but just-as-important game, Tennessee faces off against the Ohio Bobcats out of the MAC conference. Dobbs accounted for five touchdowns last week against a formidable opponent in Virginia Tech. He threw for three touchdowns on just 91 yards passing while running for 106 yards and two more scores on the ground. This week, expect Dobbs and the entire Tennessee team to use this as a tune-up game before the heavily anticipated Florida matchup on Sept. 24.

Edited by Nathan Odom

Featured image by Ruth Dudley, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

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