July 18, 2024

Predicting SEC top performers for week eight

With division titles on the line, it’s up to primetime players to put together primetime performances. Who will step up this week in the SEC?

Overall, it’s a fairly light schedule in the SEC this week, but there’s still plenty of big-time players that will be taking the stage. As the division races continue to heat up, teams in the SEC are desperate for every win. Here are a few names to watch for this week in SEC play.

Jalen Hurts, Alabama QB

The Crimson Tide rolled into Knoxville and obliterated Tennessee 49-10 in week seven thanks to their freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. In Saturday’s game against the then-No. 9 ranked Volunteers, Hurts was more of a threat on the ground than he was through the air—which is what makes him dangerous. With weapons like Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart, Texas A&M’s defense has to take the threat of the pass seriously, leaving plenty of running room for Hurts. But when the defense plays close, he can air it out. It’s worth noting that Texas A&M’s defense gave up 684 yards of offense to Tennessee two weeks ago. Look for Hurts to have a field day in Tuscaloosa.

Derrius Guice, LSU RB

Leonard Fournette’s injury has given sophomore Derrius Guice the chance to step up as the primary running back for the Bayou Bengals. He’s taken that opportunity and (quite literally) ran with it. In the past two games, Guice has rushed for over 160 yards in each outing. On the season, he has averaged 9.1 yards per carry. Although Fournette is expected to return against Ole Miss, it’s unsure of how much playing time he’ll see. With that in mind, Guice could prove once again he is not to be overlooked against the Rebels, who give up 212.8 rushing yards per game.

Calvin Ridley, Alabama WR

Of the 684 yards Tennessee hung on Texas A&M, 402 came through the air. With mastermind Lane Kiffin running the offense, the Crimson Tide will surely try to exploit the weak Aggies secondary. Although Ridley hasn’t had quite the same numbers as he did in 2015, he still poses a serious threat to SEC defenses with his NFL-level talent. He’s due for a monster game. With the SEC West title potentially on the line, look for Bama’s stars, including Ridley, to have their best games yet.

Edited by Dalton King 

Featured image by Sumner Gilliam

When Robert isn't writing stories for the greatest online news site of all time, he enjoys playing the tuba, hanging out with friends, and opening the "T" on Saturdays in Knoxville. You can follow him on Twitter-@tnytuba09