Coaching football can certainly be a 50-50 proposition, involving plenty of risk and plenty of reward. Coaches are posed with tough decisions dozens of times throughout every game, and how they handle those decisions has a tremendous impact on the outcome of a game.

Sometimes a coach will take a risk and it will win his team the game. Other times a coach will play it safe and still lose as a result. Every game is filled with good and bad coaching decisions from both sidelines. Here were the best and worst from around the SEC in Week 2:

Good decision: Les Miles was smart to allow his two freshmen tailbacks, the highly-touted Leonard Fournette and fellow frosh Darrel Williams, to handle the bulk of the work in the run game in a 56-0 win over Sam Houston State. Senior Kenny Hilliard dazzled Tigers fans with 110 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 against Wisconsin, but played a much smaller role in last weekend’s rout. Hilliard carried the ball just 11 times, while Fournette carried the ball 13 times and Williams 14 times (Hilliard had 18 carries to Fournette’s eight against the Badgers – Williams didn’t carry it once). Miles is looking to develop depth in his backfield, a constant among his LSU teams in the past, and building Fournette and Williams’ confidence against an inferior opponent was the perfect starting point. Fournette learned against Wisconsin there’s a big difference between high school football and the FBS, racking up just 18 yards at 2.3 yards per carry. He ran for 92 yards and a touchdown against Sam Houston State, which could help him turn the corner as a collegiate.

Bad decision: Dan Mullen tried to alternate quarterbacks early in Mississippi State’s game against UAB, and the team did not respond well. He opened the game with starter Dak Prescott under center, but then went with sophomore backup Damian Williams for the Bulldogs’ second series. Prescott played the third and fifth series while Williams played the fourth and sixth series. In those six series, Mississippi State scored just 13 points, a Prescott touchdown pass and a pick-six by Preston Smith. Mullen eventually stopped rotating Prescott and Williams, and MSU quickly scored 13 more points in the next eight minutes of action. If Prescott is the dynamic talent many say he is, Mullen must abandon his usual two-quarterback tendencies and sell-out on Prescott. He has eight passing touchdowns in two games, far more than many other quarterbacks not sharing time with their backups. It will be interesting to see if Mullen continues with the adjustment he made against UAB, sticking exclusively with Prescott under center.

Good decision: Derek Mason was wise to choose one quarterback and stick with him, even if his choice, Stephen Rivers, stunk like a pile of garbage last week against Vanderbilt. It is almost impossible for an offense to get on the same page with three different signal callers leading the unit at different times. With Rivers, Vandy’s offense now has one leader, one voice in the huddle and one passer with which to find a rhythm. The Commodores have looked rather dreadful in their first two games, but Mason’s decision to stick with his most veteran quarterback through these difficult days was one of the smartest moves he’s made as a head coach.

Bad decision: Lane Kiffin has to make a greater effort to get the ball to star tight end O.J. Howard, who has just one target and zero catches in Alabama’s first two games. Howard was a preseason All-SEC selection, so it’s not as though he’s not earning his spot on the field. Alabama just beat Florida Atlantic 41-0, and the FAU defense has now given up more than 1,400 yards of total offense in less than two complete games. Howard should have had plenty of opportunities to ease his way into the 2014 season last weekend against the Owls. Not only is he not catching passes, he’s not even being targeted, which begs the question, why is Kiffin not designing plays to get the ball to Howard? Last week’s game was the perfect opportunity for the Tide tight end to knock off some rust and be a bigger part of the game. Instead, he once again played almost no part in the game, and still hasn’t gotten the ball in his hands against a live defense outside of practice. Alabama is going to need Howard in SEC play, and Tide fans ought to hope Kiffin has him ready when that moment arrives.

Good decision: Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn showed no hesitation in going right back to Nick Marshall as his starting quarterback ahead of Jeremy Johnson, who played well Week 1 against Arkansas as Marshall served a suspension. Malzahn was smart to return to Marshall, the quarterback who led his Tigers to an SEC title in 2013, ahead of Johnson, who had some fans clamoring for a change at quarterback following his Week 1 showing. Johnson may have the better arm, as Marshall is primarily a run-before-throw quarterback (he was just 10-of-19 passing for 101 yards against San Jose State last week). However, Auburn operates out of a run-first offense, and Marshall has proven to be the perfect man to lead it. Malzahn showed great coaching savvy to not get caught up in the whirlwind of Johnson hype after beating Arkansas and instead stick with his guy under center.