Some of the most talented players in the world play in the SEC, and occasionally we see them playing at the highest level.
Whether it’s a blue-chip quarterback making a statement or star running back breaking loose, the SEC boasted some of the craziest statistics on both sides of the ball. We’ve decided to put a list together of the best.
Now just to clarify, “craziest” is a vague term. It’s nearly impossible to equivocate receiving yards to rushing yards or interceptions to passing touchdowns. Our simplest test was whether seeing the stat line made us gasp.
However, we’ve limited this to one appearance on the list per player. Chad Kelly and Nick Fitzgerald notably had multiple games that deserved mention, but we wanted to include as many players as possible.
Additionally, defensive players are obviously underrepresented on this list. It’s not a slight to players such as Derek Barnett and Zach Cunningham, who had dominant games. Unfortunately, they just aren’t as measured as offensive players.
Here are the 10 craziest SEC individual stat lines of the year:
10. J’Mon Moore, Missouri
Game: 28-27 loss to Georgia
Stats: 8 catches for 196 yards, 2 TDs
Perhaps no SEC player benefitted more from Missouri’s shift to an air raid than Moore. The results came immediately, with 100-yard receiving games in three of his first four games. However, his performance against Georgia’s strong secondary was the most productive receiving game of the season and easily best of his career. He caught a 6-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that looked to be enough, before Jacob Eason led Georgia on a game-winning drive with 90 seconds left.
9. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Game: 23-10 win over UTSA
Stats: 8 tackles, 4.5 sacks, forced fumble, pass breakup
Obviously, playing against UTSA was a factor. However, 4.5 sacks against anyone is impressive. Garrett dealt with injuries early in the season, but came back even stronger late. UTSA’s defense did a good job of giving the offense the ball in positive situations, but Garrett ensured that the offense never got in a rhythm. There’s a reason Garrett could be the No. 1 overall pick.
8. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
Game: 45-38 loss to Texas A&M
Stats: 18 carries for 127 yards, 2 TDs; 8 catches for 161 yards, TD
It took Jalen Hurd getting hurt and deciding to transfer before Kamara got a real shot at being a featured back. When it happened, Tennessee never looked back. Even though it came in a loss, Kamara was all over the field against Texas A&M. He was responsible for 3 of the Vols’ 5 touchdowns, including 2 in the final 2:07 to force overtime. That’s a clutch performance.
7. Stephen Johnson, Kentucky
Game: 41-38 win over Louisville
Stats: 16 of 27 for 338 yards, 3 TDs; 8 carries for 83 yards
What sets this performance apart is that Johnson outdueled Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and also led his team in rushing. Johnson completed touchdown passes of 75, 63 and 35 yards in a critical victory at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in enemy territory.
6. Jalen Hurts, Alabama
Game: 51-3 win over Mississippi State
Stats: 28 of 37 for 347 yards, 4 TD; 11 carries for 100 yards, TD
This game was a perfect example of why Hurts has completely changed Alabama’s offensive game plan. Ten different players caught passes for the Crimson Tide, while six caught at least three passes. However, Hurts’ running ability ensured the game was over by halftime.
5. Josh Dobbs, Tennessee
Game: 63-37 win over Missouri
Stats: 15 of 22 for 223 yards, 3 TDs; 10 carries for 190 yards, 2 TDs
It probably shouldn’t have been this difficult, but Dobbs made sure that Tennessee did not lose to Missouri at Neyland Stadium. The Volunteers’ defense struggled and gave up 740 yards to the visiting Tigers. However, Dobbs put on a Senior Day showcase for the ages, finishing with 413 yards and 5 touchdowns on just 32 total touches — that’s 12.9 yards per play that involved Dobbs.
4. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
Game: 48-43 loss to Alabama
Stats: 26 of 40 for 421 yards, 3 TDs; 14 carries for 43 yards
Kelly’s line is good, but it was the fact it happened against No. 1 Alabama that set it apart. Ole Miss was close to Alabama, tied late in the third quarter. Of course, the Crimson Tide went on a customary run to push the lead to double-digits, but Kelly threw a pair of touchdowns to make things interesting late. If Alabama’s offense didn’t have such a good day, it would have been enough for a win.
3. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Game: 49-30 win over Arkansas
Stats: 5 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 passes defended, TD
Typically, people hearing a defensive back’s name multiple times on a broadcast is a bad thing. It either means he’s getting beat, or the front seven is allowing players into the secondary. However, Fitzpatrick was mentioned for all the right reasons against Arkansas. The sophomore had a ridiculous 3-interception game, including one brought back for a 100-yard pick six. It was one of the most impressive displays in SEC history.
— West Coast Tide Fans (@WCTideFans) October 9, 2016
2. Leonard Fournette, LSU
Game: 38-21 win over Ole Miss
Stats: 16 carries for 284 yards, 3 TDs; 3 catches for 25 yards
While the numbers themselves were crazy, it was the efficiency that separated this Fournette performance from the rest. On his first 7 rushes, Fournette ran for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns against Ole Miss’ defense. He later ran over Ole Miss safety Deontay Anderson in one of the craziest hits of the season. If this is the injured Fournette, no one will want to play him fully healthy at the next level.
1. Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State
Game: 56-41 win over Samford
Stats: 20 of 35 for 417 yards, 5 TDs; 19 carries for 119 yards, 2 TDs
Obviously, this game happened against Samford, not exactly the standard for SEC football. However, 536 total yards and 7 touchdowns is impossible to ignore. Fitzgerald was a monster both through the air and on the ground, and was responsible for 49 of the Bulldogs’ 56 points and 80 percent of their total yardage. The only other points came on a pick six.