As the college football season comes to a close, many of the top SEC teams took on their toughest tests remaining before Championship Week. Alabama faced off against Mississippi State, Georgia took on Auburn and Kentucky faced off against Tennessee.
Wait, that last one wasn’t suppose to a game — and yet it was!
Here were our highlights from Week 11 in the SEC
Bama Boys Williams & Wilson Show First-Round Talent
We’re going to start sounding like a broken record over here, but my word, the boys over in Tuscaloosa can play some ball.
Going into the matchup, even ESPN’s Jesse Palmer said the man to watch was defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, and throughout the entire game, he was right.
Quinnen Williams is unstoppable. What a monster. pic.twitter.com/HyUuG0I1FI
— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) November 10, 2018
Williams is an absolute stud. Anytime the Bulldogs left him one-on-one with an interior offensive lineman, Williams made them pay. He’s turned into quite the pass rusher already and shows a maturity in his game that is wise beyond its years in terms of what to do situationally. Alabama had four sacks in the contest, one belonging to Williams.
Right behind him is a guy who just continues to impress each week and that is linebacker Mack Wilson. There will be linebackers in college football and even in the NFL draft pool that will have better stats than Wilson — more tackles, more sacks, more interceptions, etc. However, when it comes to ability, Wilson is in a class of his own. The way he can fluidly move in coverage is a thing of beauty. He’s perfect for today’s NFL when asked to drop back and position himself in places where throws just can’t be made. For the second straight week in a row, it was his presence in the middle that was a big catalyst for Alabama shutting out their opponent.
Williams and Wilson are both, without a doubt, first round talents, and might just be the best two players Alabama has to offer this year.
Sweat & Simmons Show Out
Though they did lose to Alabama — as is the case most of the time when teams travel to Tuscaloosa — two of the Bulldogs’ defensive linemen, edge rusher Montez Sweat and interior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, really stood out.
Simmons, the 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive lineman, nearly led the team in tackles this week. He looked predictably unblockable in many situations and came up huge on a 4th-and-Goal situation that kept Alabama out of the end zone late in the game. He isn’t the pass rusher that Williams or Ed Oliver are, but he is still a monster in the middle with enough pass rush strength to compliment his stout run stopping ability. He is truly a force, and showed that Alabama didn’t have the only first round defensive linemen in the game.
On the edge of Simmons’ pass rush front was Montez Sweat. Though Sweat didn’t record a sack in this game, his presence was a big reason why the team ended the game with four sacks.
Explosive get off✅
Quick Inside Move✅
Apply Pressure with Outside Shoulder✅
Use length and bend to get to the QB✅
-Montez Sweat IS IT pic.twitter.com/yf7peoTqSd
— Carter Donnick (@CDonScouting) November 10, 2018
Sweat, at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, is so fast off the edge for a man his size. He’s better with his hands this year, which has helped him get the most out of both his power and speed, and he has a rip mov that is straight nasty to get off blocks. He seems to really be putting his pass rush resume all together her this season.
Stidham Still Ain’t It
I can’t say that this was the last real test for Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, since the Tigers do still get to play Alabama in two weeks. But they’re not going to stand a chance against Alabama, so his matchup against Georgia was about as good as you can ask of a tough, yet potentially redeeming performance.
He didn’t get it.
Stidham just can’t process the game fast enough. Georgia was aggressive in their style, and anytime pressure came Stidham’s way, he was either too late to recognize where the ball needed to go or was inaccurate when doing so on time.
Gus Malzahn’s offensive philosophy is nearly unwatchable when the team doesn’t have a dominant quarterback or running back, and they certainly don’t have either right now. The first round talk with Studham needs to go away.
A Look Ahead: Wow, D’Andre Swift
Though he’s not draft eligible yet as just a sophomore, we wanted to make sure we highlighted the day of Georgia running back D’Andre Swift.
— ㅤㅤㅤ (@ftbeard_17) November 11, 2018
Swift had 186 yards on the ground on 17 carries with a touchdown to boot. He looked fast and powerful throughout the game as a receiver and a runner. Swift is listed a 5-foot-9, 215 pounds, and even though I’m sure NFL teams would wish he were a little bit taller, his build, along with the kind of speed and power he has, makes it really difficult to be picky about him.
He had one hell of a highlight day, and will be a player to look forward to in next year’s class.
Scarlett & Perine Go Over 100 Again For Gators
It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the Florida Gators beating the LSU Tigers as they gained momentum for what was scheduled to be big showdown against Georgia. Well, that showdown happened, but it didn’t end the way many people thought.
It was a pretty favorable win for Georgia, as Florida’s offense really couldn’t keep up once Georgia started throwing the ball. Since then they’ve also dropped a homecoming game to Missouri, which has now made the team an afterthought in college football.
Even though it’s safe to say you can overlook Florida in terms of the college football playoff, you shouldn’t overlook their two-headed monster of a running back tandem in Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine
Scarlett had a career high 159 rushing yards, and Perine had 107, which were big reason why the Gators were able to come back from 17 points down for the second time this season. Both backs run with power and determination as their calling cards, though Perine even showed some nice vision through traffic for one of his two touchdowns.
Deebo Samual Back?
— ㅤㅤㅤ (@ftbeard_17) November 10, 2018
It has not been the season many predicted it might be for South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Samuel was poised to be a true x-factor slot receiver for the Gamecocks this season, but he really hasn’t been able to live up to that hype (not all his fault).
Saturday’s game against Florida was the first time Samuel went over 100 yards receiving this season, but he did so in just four catches, the best of the day is the one shown above. Samuel might not be the top-end receiver we thought during the summer but his skillset still has plenty to offer, especially when you get him in open space.
SEC Power Rankings
6. Mississippi State
7. Texas A&M
9. South Carolina
12. Ole Miss