Several familiar faces to our All-SEC team dotted the roster once again in Week 7; think old staples such as Derek Barnett, Eddie Jackson and Evan Engram. But many newcomers made their debuts among the week’s best players. The kind of players who we expect to see back here again before the end of the season.
Here’s a look at the top players from around the conference to comprise our Week 7 All-SEC team:
QB JALEN HURTS, ALABAMA
143 passing yards, TD, 132 rushing yards, 3 TDs
You know you had a great game when people start mentioning you among dark horse Heisman Award candidates in the aftermath. That was the case with Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who put on a show in Week 7 in a thorough dismantling of No. 9 Tennessee. The freshman accounted for 275 all-purpose yards and 4 touchdowns as the Tide outplayed Josh Dobbs and the Volunteers. In one game, Hurts vaulted himself among and past the likes of former Alabama greats Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron, rushing for more yards than the two scuttled for in their entire careers.
RB DERRIUS GUICE, LSU
162 YDs, 2 TDs
Derrius Guice continues to make LSU fans forget about the ailing Leonard Fournette. The sophomore fell one yard shy of matching the 163 yards he earned in the Tigers’ last game in Week 5 against Missouri. Guice now has 564 yards on the year to rank No. 6 in the SEC — a remarkable feat when you consider that he’s carried for a combined 10 attempts in three of LSU’s games this season when Fournette resumed starting duties. His 9.1 YPC puts him atop the conference and No. 5 nationally at churning out major yardage every time he touches the ball.
WR MALACHI DUPRE, LSU
100 YDs, 2 TDs
With a pair of scoring grabs in Week 7 against Southern Mississippi, Malachi Dupre jumped into the lead among LSU wide receivers for most on the Tigers with … wait for it … 2 touchdowns on the year. He tied teammate D.J. Chark, who also hauled one in against the Golden Eagles. It’s Dupre’s first 100-yard game since he snared 115 yards against Florida in 2015.
TE EVAN ENGRAM, OLE MISS
111 yards, TD
Evan Engram continued his torrid pace in Week 7 against Arkansas with the third 100-yard performance of the season and sixth of his career. The senior not only leads the SEC in receiving by 102 yards over the next-closest wide receiver (Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M), but his 590 yards rank him No. 17 in the nation among all pass catchers and tops among FBS tight ends. Engram’s 7 catches against Arkansas moved him into first on the Ole Miss all-time leaderboard for receptions by a Rebels tight end.
FLORIDA GATORS OFFENSIVE LINE
0 sacks allowed, 3.0 TFL allowed
Florida cruised to a relatively easy win over Missouri, partly on the backs of arguably the most improved offensive line in the SEC, if not in the nation. The unit paved the way for 285 rushing yards — including 100-yard efforts by both Jordan Scarlett (101 yards, TD) and Lamical Perine (106 yards) — while not allowing Missouri to touch quarterback Luke Del Rio.
DE DEREK BARNETT, TENNESSEE
3 tackles, 2.0 TFL, sack, FF, INT
Alabama might have had Tennessee’s number in Week 7, but that didn’t stop Derek Barnett from being his destructive self. The junior now has 6 sacks in his last four games and currently lists one shy of SEC leader Arden Key of LSU — and tied with South Carolina’s Darius English with 6 on the year. His leaping interception with the Tide in the red zone wasn’t just the first of his career but prevented Alabama from putting even more points on the board in the 49-10 decision.
— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) October 15, 2016
DT BREELAND SPEAKS, OLE MISS
4 tackles, sack, QBH
Breeland Speaks emerged as the best defensive tackle during a quiet week for defensive tackles in the SEC. The sophomore tied his career high with 3 tackles and dropped Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen for his first sack of the season and second of his career.
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 16, 2016
LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM, VANDERBILT
19 tackles, 2.5 TFL, BRU
Zach Cunningham posted a career-high 19 tackles in Week 7 against Georgia, 4 more than his previous best set against Middle Tennessee State in 2015. None of those takedowns against the Bulldogs were bigger than his tackle on Isaiah McKenzie to deny the Georgia wide receiver a first down on fourth-and-1 to effectively seal the upset win for Vanderbilt.
CB TEEZ TABOR, FLORIDA
2 tackles, INT
CB QUINCY WILSON, FLORIDA
Tackle, INT, BRU
Florida cornerbacks Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson split the honors in Week 7, thanks to nearly identical games in the Gators’ rout of Missouri. Tabor and Wilson returned interceptions of 39 and 78 yards, respectively, 2:11 apart in the second quarter to put Florida up 20-0. Their cornerback peer, John Gibson of the Tigers, picked off 2 passes of his own, but the nod has to go to the pair of Gators juniors who essentially swung the game in Florida’s favor for good.
Touchdown Teez Tabor to pit Florida up 13-0.
— Mark Wheeler (@InsideTheGators) October 15, 2016
Quincy Wilson one ups Teez Tabor with his own pick six.
— Mark Wheeler (@InsideTheGators) October 15, 2016
K RODRIGO BLANKENSHIP, GEORGIA
3-3, PAT, tackle
Rodrigo Blankenship has provided some stability to the maligned Georgia kicking game since taking over starting duties in Week 4 against Ole Miss. The freshman has made four straight since missing his only attempt in the game against the Rebels, including splitting the uprights from 45, 22 and 36 yards out in Week 7 against Vanderbilt — accounting for 10 of the Bulldogs’ 16 points in the loss to the Commodores. Blankenship, presumably a close relative of the Hanson brothers, also made his first career tackle.
— 11Alive Sports (@11AliveSports) October 15, 2016
KR EDDIE JACKSON, ALABAMA
108 return yards, TD
Any ideas that Tennessee entertained about making a comeback came to a crashing halt when Eddie Jackson took the first play of the fourth quarter 79 yards to the house. The second punt return touchdown of Jackson’s career put Alabama up 42-10 and thoroughly crushed any remaining hope the Volunteers clung to.
— Norah O. AlOmair (@NorahAlOmair) October 15, 2016