January 26, 2021

Predicting SEC Top Performers for week 11

The SEC Championship Game is just around the corner, and it’s the time of year when players make a name for themselves. Who will step up this week in the SEC?

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 05, 2015 - running back John Kelly #4 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the season opening game between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Tennessee Volunteers at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN. Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

Week 11 of the college football season will certainly be interesting. The SEC will have an all in-conference schedule this week, which looks to be very important. The fate of many SEC Championship Game hopes ride on the outcome of this week’s games. Here are a few names to watch for in this action packed week of football.

Leonard Fournette, LSU RB

The LSU Tigers are coming off of a disappointing, but hard fought 10-0 loss to the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide last week. Two of the best defenses in the nation were featured in this game, which resulted in Leonard Fournette only mustering 35 yards rushing on 17 carries.

This week Fournette and the Tigers are set to face the Arkansas Razorbacks, who are 91st in the nation in rush defense. In the five games that Fournette has started this season, he has had over 100 yards in four of the games including a 285 yard outburst against Ole Miss. Look for Fournette to exploit the Razorbacks’ poor rush defense in Fayetteville this weekend.

Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB

Jalen Hurts and the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide defeated LSU last week to further solidify their chances of cruising to the SEC Championship Game. While Hurts had only had 107 yards passing and one interception against the Tigers’ defense, he still managed to rush for 114 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

This week the Tide take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs who are coming off of a win over the then-ranked No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies. However, the Bulldogs are 103rd in the nation in pass defense and will have trouble containing the dual-threat beast that is Hurts. If the Crimson Tide get their run game going against State and open up the pass game, the Bulldogs will have their hands full. Look for Hurts to ruin Mississippi State’s chances of upsetting a top-four team two weeks in a row.

John Kelly, Tennessee RB

The Volunteers are coming off of a 55-0 shutout of Tennessee Tech last week. After news of starting running back Jalen Hurd’s transfer and backup Alvin Kamara’s injury was revealed, Kelly was thrust into the spotlight and given his first start of his career. In the big win Kelly racked up 104 rushing yards on just 7 carries including a touchdown before he was pulled out.

Kamara could return from injury this week, but his status for the game is still uncertain. Luckily for Kelly, Tennessee has a fully healthy offensive line for the first time in recent memory. With the uncertainty of Kamara, there is a good chance that Kelly sees a solid amount of carries this weekend as the Volunteers take on the Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcats are 92nd in the nation in rush defense and with help from the pass offense, Kelly could have a breakout game in Knoxville this week.

Edited by Adam Milliken

Featured image by Donald Page, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

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