Published October 15, 2012 - 10:25am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
Freshmen are largely supposed to be seen and not heard around the locker room, but these four freshmen had monster games that helped lift their teams to victory Saturday.
Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU: Heading into 2012, Hill was the fifth-string running back on a very crowded and talented running back roster. He isn’t anymore. Due largely to Spencer Ware’s dehydration, Hill had a breakout game against South Carolina’s stingy defense. Hill carried 17 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns, but his 50-yard run was arguably the play that put the Gamecocks to bed. Do running backs just grow on trees in Louisiana?
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: I feel like a broken record talking about how stellar Johnny Manziel was Saturday. Oh, and speaking of records, Manziel broke the SEC’s all purpose yardage of 557 yards – a record he set against Arkansas earlier in the season. Manziel gained 576 yards and six total touchdowns in the shootout defeat Louisiana Tech 59-57. If you missed it, it was incredible. Manziel’s 72-yard run against Tech was the play that put the Aggies up 59-54 with 2:04 left in the fourth.
Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas: Williams is a running back, but he had a monster game as a receiver against Kentucky. He caught only three passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, averaging a whopping 50 yards per catch. It reminded us of just how bad Kentucky really is on defense and the season that could have been for the Hogs. Nonetheless, Arkansas has a great talent at running back to build around in the future in Williams.
TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama: We knew coming into this game on the rain-soaked turf in Columbia that Alabama had a huge edge in the running game. The Tide in fact ran all over the Tigers for 362 yards and six total touchdowns. TJ Yeldon carried 18 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 8.0 yards per carry. Alabama exploited the edges of the defense, and only a weather delay could slow the Tide down. Yeldon will appropriately be named “Air Yeldon” after his 5-yard leaping touchdown.