Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB
The freshman signal-caller will have his toughest test of the season on Saturday when then top-ranked Crimson Tide welcome 15th-ranked Auburn (8-3, 5-2 SEC) to Bryant-Denny Stadium for this year’s edition of the Iron Bowl. Hurts is second among SEC quarterbacks in rushing yards, and is tied for second in rushing touchdowns among all players with 11. If Alabama wants to continue its historic run to another national title, Hurts will have to shine against an extremely tough Tiger defense.
Derek Barnett, Tennessee DE
Derek Barnett is having a season Tennessee fans will always remember. Currently leading the SEC in sacks with 11, the junior has been a game changer all season long. Having already amassed four SEC weekly accolades this season, Barnett can look to add to his impressive season as he returns to his hometown of Nashville to take on Vanderbilt in each team’s season finale this Saturday. Barnett will look to cement himself in the record books this Saturday — he’s only one sack short of the great Reggie White’s career sack record — as the Volunteers try to finish the season with a victory against the Commodores.
Shea Patterson, Ole Miss QB
After making his debut two weeks ago in an upset victory over Texas A&M, freshman quarterback Shea Patterson and the Rebels will look to close the season off right with a victory over Mississippi State (4-7, SEC 2-5) in the 113th Egg Bowl this Saturday. Patterson will need to find All-SEC tight end Evan Engram as well as receivers Damore’ea Stringfellow and Van Jefferson early and often if Ole Miss wants to clinch a bowl birth on the final week of the season. If Patterson can keep feeding Engram, the Rebels should roll to a decisive victory and a silver lining to a rather disappointing season in Oxford.
Edited by Nathan Odom
Featured image by Ben Proffitt