SEC top performers for week seven

A freshman quarterback dominated on the ground, while a running back controlled the pace of the game in a crucial SEC West showdown. Here are the top performers from the SEC during week seven.

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 15, 2016 - Pride of the Southland Marching Band during the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By John Golliher/Tennessee Athletics

Week seven brought with it big rushers, big defensive plays and big scores. Here are the week’s top performances from the SEC.

Rawleigh Williams III, Arkansas RB

Ole Miss had their hands full with running back Rawleigh Williams III, as he made a big contribution to an even bigger victory for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Against the Rebels, Williams ran for 180 yards. Although Jared Cornelius made the most impactful run of the game that sealed the deal for the Hogs, it was Williams who paced the Arkansas offense throughout the entire game.

Evan Engram, Ole Miss TE

On the losing side of the battle between Arkansas and Ole Miss, Evan Engram continued to show why he is widely considered the best tight end in college football. Throughout the season, Engram has continuously been more than just a safety blanket for quarterback Chad Kelly; he’s been a true number one target. On the day, he averaged 16 yards per catch for 111 total yards and a touchdown.

Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB

Jalen Hurts had a day that Tennessee fans would like to forget. The formula was simple for the freshman Alabama quarterback: use his speed to outrun Tennessee defenders sideline to sideline. Although passing didn’t come easy for Hurts, he changed the game when he began to gash the Vols on the outside, which in turn opened up lanes for the inside run game. He finished the day with 143 yards passing and 132 yards on 12 carries and three touchdown on the ground. In a lop-sided affair, Hurts was the catalyst for the Crimson Tide’s success on offense.

Derek Barnett, Tennessee DE

The sole bright spot for the Tennessee Volunteers on a day that did not otherwise live up to expectations was star defensive end Derek Barnett. He made key differences at important moments in the first half. On a lightning-fast rush off the right side, Barnett crushed Hurts with a hit to his blindside, which resulted in a fumble that the Vols obtained possession of inside the Alabama 15-yard line. This allowed Tennessee to score its lone touchdown of the afternoon. Toward the end of the second quarter, the Crimson Tide were on the move and up 21-7  when Barnett intercepted a Hurt pass off a Shy Tuttle deflection. Barnett finished with three tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, forced fumble and the aforementioned interception.

Edited by David Bradford

Featured image by John Golliher, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics