The SEC has been nothing short of impressive this year. With so many teams ranked in the top-25 heading into week three, did anyone really expect anything else? Let’s take a look at some of the week’s top performers.
Chad Kelly, Mississippi QB
The Ole Miss Rebels hosted Alabama and looked to shock the Crimson Tide for the third-consecutive season. With less than three minutes remaining in the first half, Ole Miss held a comfortable 24-3 lead with all the momentum on its side. However, Alabama stormed back and took an 18-point lead with five minutes left in the game. From that point forward, Rebel quarterback Chad Kelly took over the game, throwing two quick touchdown passes. Despite the furious comeback, Ole Miss ultimately failed to force a defensive stop. Even in the loss, Kelly put up outstanding numbers, going 26-of-41 for 421 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Even though this is the second time this season the Rebels have squandered a 21-point lead, “Swag” Kelly has already cemented himself as a top-tier quarterback.
Jacob Eason, Georgia QB
There was a lot of hype surrounding true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason in and around Athens during the offseason. Three weeks into the season, the hype appears justified. Down by six to Missouri with 1:30 left in the game and facing a fourth-and-ten from 20 yards out, Eason threw a gorgeous touchdown pass to Isaiah MaKenzie, who also had himself a night. The Tigers had a chance to get into field goal range to win the game, but Georgia came up with a huge fumble recovery and escaped Columbia riding on the shoulders of its young star quarterback.
Shutout victories have happened before. However, not many of those teams who’ve recorded shutouts can claim they held their opponent to only 53 yards of total offense. The entire Florida defense dominated against North Texas on Saturday. Mean Green quarterback Mason Fine collected only 66 yards through the air. As a team, North Texas finished the game with -13 yards rushing. With quarterback Luke Del Rio going down during the game with an apparent knee injury, the Gator defense will have to play at a high level once again if they want to compete with the Tennessee Volunteers next week.
Benjamin Snell Jr., Kentucky RB
Kentucky got a slight scare from New Mexico State this week. After going into halftime tied at 35, the Wildcats managed to pull away for a 20-point victory over the Aggies. Over the past couple of season, when you think of a Kentucky running back, you would most likely think of Stanley “Boom” Williams, even if it is just because of his name. While Boom had an incredible game himself—18 carries for 181 yards and a touchdown—it was the freshman Benjamin Snell Jr. that captured the spotlight. Snell had 17 carries for 136 yards and four touchdowns. Even with starting quarterback Drew Barker going down early in the game, Kentucky’s backfield looks to be in good hands.
Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia WR
As mentioned before, Isaiah McKenzie had an incredible game against Missouri. His game-tying touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter was only one of his clutch plays. It seemed like every time Georgia needed a big play, McKenzie was there time and time again. McKenzie would end the game with 10 receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by Sumner Gilliam