This weekend’s slate of games is filled with lopsided matchups, including the lone SEC contest of the weekend between No. 15 Ole Miss and the unranked Vanderbilt Commodores.

Many of the SEC’s star players will try and pad their stats with big days against teams from outside the power conferences. However, a few players are bound to underwhelm on “Siesta Saturday,” leaving something to be desired.

Here are three candidates to “boom” on Saturday, and three candidates to bust:


  1. Kenny Hill: “Kenny Trill” played far better than most anticipated, even among Aggies’ faithful. If you thought the nation was under-selling Hill prior to his A&M debut, that’s fair. But if you thought he’d set the school passing record in a 52-point performance, you’re a liar. Hill will face a Lamar team from the FCS ranks being paid a lot of money to come to College Station and lose this game. If he wasn’t riding high enough after the opener, he should feel pretty good after this one. Hill helped prove Sumlin is more than just Johnny Manziel’s former coach, and Sumlin’s history with pass-heavy offenses sets up nicely for Hill against Lamar on Saturday. The Cardinals played one team from a power conference a year ago, and lost that game 59-3 to Oklahoma State. Hill will have his way in this game, and will put up monster stats until Sumlin sits him with a hefty lead.
  2. Cameron Artis-Payne: Artis-Payne stepped up last week against Arkansas as Auburn’s new featured back following the departure of Tre Mason. He carried the ball 26 times 177 yards, an average of 6.8 yards per carry, and scored a touchdown in a 24-point win over the Razorbacks. This weekend he faces a San Jose State team that has struggled against strong rushing attacks in recent years. Last season, in two games against teams from power conferences (Stanford and Minnesota), the Spartans allowed an average of 275 yards per game on the ground. With the talented Corey Grant (10 carries, 87 yards, 1 touchdown) to spell him throughout the game, Artis-Payne should be relatively fresh every time he touches the ball, which is bad news for San Jose State.
  3. Robert Nkemdiche: Nkemdiche was an unstoppable force at times against Boise State last week, and is going up against a Vanderbilt offense that proved to be very stoppable in its performance against Temple. Vandy failed to score a single point on offense against the Owls, and Temple’s pass rush had its way with the Commodores’ offensive line. Nkemdiche will benefit from the return of Serderius Bryant and his brother, Denzel, at linebacker, giving the Commodores two more players in the front seven to worry about. Even if his numbers don’t show it, Nkemdiche is primed to have a big game in Nashville on Saturday, and the rest of the defense will likely follow.


  1. The Vanderbilt quarterbacks: I could take the easy way out and name all three quarterbacks – Stephen Rivers, Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary – the three busts of the weekend. Instead, we will wrap all three into one extremely sad bust of a situation. Derek Mason has flip-flopped all week on how he’ll handle his quarterback situation this weekend, with the only constant being his insistence we won’t know the Commodores’ starter until their first offensive series Saturday. Mason may still not know who his starter will be, and he may play all three again like he did last week. Clearly none of these three players have done anything to seize the job, but the situation cannot be easy on them in the second week of the season. Regardless, Vandy is the only SEC team playing any team from a power conference, even its own, which could not come at a worse time for Mason or his quarterbacks.
  2. Maty Mauk: Mauk looked just so-so last week against South Dakota State. He threw for two touchdowns of 39 and 44 yards as part of a 21-point first quarter, but also sputtered at times, leading the Mizzou offense to just 17 points in the final three quarters of its home opener against an FCS opponent. Mauk did throw for three touchdowns, but was a pedestrian 13-of-21 passing for just 178 yards, nearly half of which came on the two early touchdowns. The Tigers will take on their first FBS opponent Saturday in a road contest at Toledo, and Mauk will need to be a bit sharper to avoid catastrophe. Missouri should win this game easily, but Mauk might put forth another average performance in the process.
  3. Al Harris Jr.: South Carolina will take on an East Carolina team led by one of the nation’s top quarterbacks outside the power conferences in Shane Carden. Carden has thrown for more than 3,000 yards in two straight seasons, throwing for more than 4,000 yards last season. He has 59 career touchdowns to just 20 interceptions, showing he knows how to finish off drives and has a propensity for protecting the football. Harris Jr. will make his second career start at cornerback opposite senior Brison Williams. Expect Carden, a veteran, to pick on Harris early in the game to try and build a quick lead over South Carolina. The Gamecocks should still win the game, but Harris may still get burned on a few plays.