Published September 7, 2012 - 9:14am
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Here are six players to watch this weekend as SEC play really gets into gear:
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia (FR): In order for Georgia’s offense to be successful, they need to present a balanced attack, and freshman RB Todd Gurley looks to be the guy to provide that balance. He rushed for 100 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns last week, and he’ll need to touch the football 10-15 times on Saturday night, in addition to his touches on special teams. This kid is big, strong and powerful, and he looks to be the back this team needs to put the offense over the edge. Missouri will know at all times where #3 is on the field.
James Franklin, QB, Missouri (JR): In order for Missouri to win this game, besides playing very good defense, I think the Tigers will need James Franklin to carry it 10-15 times in the game. He’s a game changer, both throwing and running, and he will need the ball in his hands for much of the night. I’m not sure Kendial Lawrence will provide Mizzou with enough explosive plays against Georgia’s fast defense, so I really look to Franklin to have to play well if Missouri wants to pull this upset. Believe me – UGA will account for him on every play.
Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn (JR): Auburn’s back is against the wall right now heading into Starkville to take on Mississippi State 0-1. We know the Bulldogs will be up for this game, but will Auburn be, too? DE Corey Lemonier needs to have a huge game this weekend and live in the backfield to be a difference maker. MSU will be hungry, and Auburn’s defensive line will need to take advantage of a younger Bulldogs’ offensive line.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (FR): Some have touted this TAMU-Florida game as the biggest game in A&M history when they open SEC play tomorrow against the Gators. It just so happens Johnny Manziel will be the one leading this offense when the Aggies roll into the SEC. He has playmakers around him as well, but I fully expect him to carry it 10-12 times this game, because he gives the offense a plus with his legs. I expect Kevin Sumlin to establish the run and throw short quick passes to get Johnny into a rhythm early. Manziel will try to bring glory to Kyle Field tomorrow.
Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU (JR): The freak himself will need to turn it up a notch this weekend against Washington and their quarterback Keith Price. Price is a dual-threat passer and has the ability to make plays in or out of the pocket. Mingo and Sam Montgomery need to have more of an impact than last week and get Price’s jersey dirty. LSU’s defense usually rises to the challenge when called upon.
Tyler Russell, Miss State, QB (JR): I really like the way Tyler Russell looked last week – the words comfortable and poised come to mind. Russell looks to have settled into ‘the man’ role for the Bulldogs. But Auburn is not Jackson State, and they bring a nasty defensive line. In addition, Auburn will come in this game trying to stop the run first, something they were unable to do last week. Dan Mullen has never beaten the Auburn Tigers, and he hopes Russell is the guy to deliver him a victory this weekend. Oh how sweet it would be for MSU if they get this win.