Here are five players to watch this weekend in SEC football:
1. Kenny Hilliard, RB, LSU (SO): With starter Alfred Blue out for LSU, I really expect Kenny Hilliard to get 25 carries. He’s averaging 8.2 yards per carry, and he is developing into the complete running back for the Tigers. Auburn’s run defense is ranked last in the SEC, giving up over 200 yards per game, and Hilliard will look to take advantage of the porous Plainsmen. Look for Hilliard to eat up yardage and get the bulk of the carries against Auburn.
2. Brad Madison, DE, Missouri (SR): Contrary to popular belief, Missouri does field a defense, and they are pretty good. The Tigers are ranked fourth in the SEC in total defense, and Madison is a big reason why. He’s currently fourth in the SEC in tackles-for-loss and second in sacks with 3.0. He’ll try to be disruptive when Connor Shaw is running the zone-read with Marcus Lattimore. Look for Madison to hit Shaw early and often, because Carolina’s offensive line hasn’t really performed up to expectations yet.
3. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (SO): Likewise, keep an eye on Jadeveon Clowney for the Gamecocks against Missouri’s spread-offense attack. Clowney is leading the SEC in tackles-for-loss with 5.5, and speed is the name of the game for this kid. Clowney will be instrumental in attacking the Tigers’ offense with a mobile quarterback because he plays so well bull-rushing the quarterback. Look for Carolina to move him around a little bit more than what we’ve seen so far.
4. Trey Wilson, CB, Vanderbilt (SR): If Vanderbilt wants to upset Georgia, the defensive backfield will have to get some takeaways and create short-field opportunities for the Dores. Wilson took back a 100-yard pick-six last week against Presbyterian, and he’s the leader of the secondary. The Commodores are the top-ranked pass defense in the SEC right now, and Wilson is a big reason why.
5. Kiehl Frazier, QB, Auburn (SO): It’s safe to say Kiehl Frazier has gotten off to a shaky start. The one thing that irks me about the Tigers’ offense is that they are trying to run a pro-style offense with an option quarterback. It hasn’t worked so far, and I really think they need to get Frazier involved earlier in running the football from a spread attack. Nonetheless, he’ll be a player to watch this weekend. He’ll need to play the best game of his career to beat the Bayou Bengals.