Jalen Hurts makes his debut on the list after Week 7, courtesy of a monster game against Tennessee that has led to whispers of Heisman consideration for Alabama’s freshman quarterback.
The SEC has had plenty of enormous performances this season. But which ones are the best of the best?
Follow our list throughout the year as we document the top 20 individual efforts by SEC players:
20. SS JUSTIN EVANS, Texas A&M
Week 1 vs. UCLA
8 tackles, 2 INTs, BRU
Justin Evans picked off UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen twice in Texas A&M’s season opener and finished tied for second on the team in tackles. But he earned the title of quite possibly the baddest dude in the SEC after popping his injured leg back into place with 37 seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 24. He responded by winning the game in overtime by breaking up a pass on the goal line with the Aggies up by a touchdown.
19. RBs DERRIUS GUICE and DARREL WILLIAMS, LSU
Week 5 vs. Missouri
Guice: 163 yards, 3 TDs
Williams: 130 yards, 3 TDs
LSU began the post-Les Miles era without star running back Leonard Fournette, and no one seemed to notice the absence of either in Death Valley. That’s because the duo of Guice and Williams stole the show by accounting for all the scoring (save for Colby Delahoussaye’s 6 PATs) in the Tigers’ 42-7 win. In all, LSU rushed for 418 yards against Missouri.
18. RB BENNY SNELL JR., Kentucky
Week 3 vs. New Mexico State
136 yards, 4 TDs
Snell didn’t see any carries in his first two career games. When the freshman’s number was finally called in Week 3 against New Mexico State, he was more than ready. Snell became the only player in the SEC to rush for 4 touchdowns in a game this season, even if it was against New Mexico State.
17. WR J’MON MOORE, Missouri
Week 4 vs. Delaware State
114 receiving yards, 4 TDs
J’Mon Moore has earned two slots on this list, thanks in part to the cartoonish afternoon the junior had against the Hornets. Moore shook off his fumble that ended the Georgia game by catching 4 touchdowns against the hapless Hornets to give him 6 scores over the course of roughly 5 quarters of play between the two games.
16. RB KAMRYN PETTWAY, Auburn
Week 6 vs. Mississippi State
169 rushing yards, 3 TDS
No Kerryon Johnson equaled no problem for Auburn as backup running back Pettway posted a career-day against Mississippi State. His three scores came on runs of 1, 2 and 3 yards and all occurred in the first half to put the Tigers up 28-0 over the Bulldogs.
15. QB NICK FITZGERALD, Mississippi State
Week 2 vs. South Carolina
178 passing yards passing, 2 TDs, 195 rushing yards
One of the biggest rushing performances of the 2016 season in the SEC belongs to a quarterback. The South Carolina defense had no answers when it came to slowing Fitzgerald, who channeled his inner Dak Prescott in this contest. Strangely, though, the sophomore failed to put the ball in the end zone on one of his 17 rushes in a 27-14 Bulldogs victory.
14. WR J’MON MOORE, Missouri
Week 3 vs. Georgia
196 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Moore established himself as one of the SEC’s top receivers with this performance. The career-high effort and second 100-yard game of his career was marred, however, when the junior fumbled on Missouri’s final possession to effectively seal the comeback win for Jacob Eason and Georgia.
13. DE DEREK BARNETT, Tennessee
Week 5 vs. Georgia
5 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2 sacks, FF
Before Josh Dobbs and Jauan Jennings could rise to hero level, there was Barnett and Corey Vereen who set it all up. The Tennessee defensive end came up big with a sack of Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason in the end zone to force a fumble that Vereen pounced on to give the Volunteers their first lead with 2:56 left in a wild afternoon between the hedges.
12. RB RALPH WEBB, Vanderbilt
Week 2 vs. Middle Tennessee State
211 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Webb is one of three SEC running backs to eclipse 200 yards on the ground this season, punishing Middle Tennessee State in a 47-24 victory for the Commodores. Webb’s first career 200-yard effort was so dominant that we can overlook the fact that the junior finished the game with -5 yards receiving, the only time he’s finished below zero in that category.
11. QB JACOB EASON, Georgia
Week 3 vs. Missouri
308 passing yards, 3 TDs
Eason endeared himself to the Georgia faithful early in his career, pulling out a late 28-27 win in Columbia over Missouri, courtesy of a 20-yard touchdown strike to WR Isaiah McKenzie with 1:29 to play. The true freshman would strike again two weeks later against Tennessee to give the Bulldogs a lead with 10 seconds remaining, only to see his heroics negated by a Volunteer miracle finish.
10. MINKAH FITZPATRICK, Alabama
Week 6 vs. Arkansas
5 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 BRU, 1 TD
Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen surely will see Fitzpatrick in his nightmares after this performance. Fitzpatrick’s 100-yard pick-6 was the longest in Crimson Tide history and earned him Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors.
9. RB ALVIN KAMARA, Tennessee
Week 6 vs. Texas A&M
127 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 161 receiving yards, TD
There’s a reason why players from Tennessee and Texas A&M dominate the top of this list. It’s also the reason why the Volunteers and Aggies each jumped out to unblemished 5-0 records. Texas A&M doled Tennessee its first loss in Week 6, but that can’t be pinned on Kamara, who led the SEC this week in receiving while spelling the injured Jalen Hurd.
8. QB TREVOR KNIGHT, Texas A&M
Week 4 vs. Arkansas
225 passing yards, 2 TDs, 157 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Knight has established a clutch presence since transferring to Texas A&M from Oklahoma in the offseason. That steeled resolve was on display against Arkansas, using both his arm and legs to account for the Aggies’ 45-24 drubbing of No. 17 Arkansas.
7. QB CHAD KELLY, Ole Miss
Week 3 vs. Alabama
421 passing yards, 3 TDs, 43 rushing yards
Ole Miss might not have claimed its third win in a row over Alabama, but you can’t argue against Kelly’s effort. The Rebels quarterback’s yardage total was a career high. Unfortunately for Kelly, it was his 2 fumbles returned for touchdowns that ultimately doomed Ole Miss, 48-43. Afterward, the senior took the high road and accepted the blame for the loss. Don’t expect too many quarterbacks to throw for 421 yards this year against the Alabama secondary.
6. RB TRAYVEON WILLIAMS, Texas A&M
Week 6 vs. Tennessee
217 rushing yards, TD
Aside from a late — and borderline embarrassing — fumble that cost the Aggies a chance at putting the game away in regulation, Williams put himself on everyone’s radar with a monster performance to help the Aggies stave off No. 9 Tennessee. The outing gave Williams the SEC rushing lead with 704 yards (117.3 YPG) after six weeks of play, as well as making him the top freshman rusher in the nation through the same span.
5. QB JALEN HURTS, Alabama
Week 7 vs. Tennessee
143 passing yards, 132 rushing yards, 3 TDs
Alabama’s defense and special teams might have upped their touchdown total on the year to 11 in Week 7, but the Crimson Tide got plenty of offense against Tennessee. This was Hurts’ best game of his young career, as Alabama turned what was supposed to be a heavyweight bout with the Volunteers into a one-sided, 49-10 affair.
4. QB JOSH DOBBS, Tennessee
Week 5 vs. Georgia
230 passing yards, 3 TDs, 26 rushing yards, TD
Dobbs has developed a flair for the dramatic during his senior year. None of his highlight-reel moments, however, were bigger than the 43-yard Hail Mary he tossed to WR Jauan Jennings as time expired to stun Georgia in Athens. His 230 yards weren’t his highest total of the year, but the touchdown forever will go down in Tennessee lore.
3. RB NICK CHUBB, Georgia
Week 1 vs. North Carolina
222 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Chubb silenced all doubters in his 2016 debut, returning from a debilitating knee injury sustained midway through last season to post his third career game of 200-plus rushing yards. The junior’s scores were instrumental as the Bulldogs downed the Tar Heels 33-24 in the Georgia Dome.
2. QB TREVOR KNIGHT, Texas A&M
Week 6 vs. Tennessee
239 passing yards, 2 TDs, 110 rushing yards, 3 TDs
Not to be outdone by his freshman running back, Trayveon Williams, Knight accounted for 5 touchdowns in Texas A&M’s double-overtime triumph over the Vols. His handiwork including a 62-yard scoring run and what turned out to be the game-winning 1-yard score — as No. 8 Texas A&M improved to 6-0.
1. QB JOSH DOBBS, Tennessee
Week 4 vs. Florida
319 passing yards, 4 TDs, 80 rushing yards, TD
Dobbs shrugged off a slow first half by eviscerating the Florida defense as Tennessee ended its 11-game losing streak to the Gators in epic fashion. The quarterback led the Vols to 38 unanswered points, 35 of them coming in the second half courtesy of his career-high 4 touchdown passes.