It will be tough to top last week’s incredible slate of games, but with 13 of 14 SEC teams in action this weekend fans could be in store for another amazing weekend of college football. Ten of those 13 SEC schools in action will play in five conference showdowns, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for every team involved.

Schools are beginning to lean on their stars more with each passing week, and every play of every game is magnified due to the heightened circumstances. As always, some stars will rise to the occasion, while others may fall short of expectations, leaving their teams in jeopardy of suffering a crippling midseason conference loss.

Here are this week’s candidates to “boom” and to “bust” around the SEC :

(Note — Only players involved on teams in SEC matchups are featured in this week’s edition of Boom or Bust. Players from Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt were excluded due to games against teams outside the power conferences.)


  1. Nick Chubb: Chubb is likely to see a major spike in carries against Missouri this weekend after news broke of Todd Gurley’s indefinite suspension handed down by the university Thursday afternoon, as the NCAA looks into the matter. The Bulldogs tailback has been great in spelling Gurley this year, rushing for 224 yards and two touchdowns at better than seven yards per carry in five games. He’s not had to carry the load alone in posting those numbers, but Georgia won’t hesitate to keep running the ball in Gurley’s absence, especially amid quarterback Hutson Mason’s struggles in the passing game (we’ll get to that later). The Dawgs have the scheme and the offensive line to lead to a successful day out of Chubb, and it could be an opportunity for Georgia to make a statement if they can escape Missouri with a Gurley-less win.
  2. Dak Prescott: Chubb is the man who stands to benefit the most from Gurley’s absence, but Prescott is a close second. As Gurley misses time and faces NCAA sanctions, Prescott’s Heisman campaign has a chance to reach new heights this week against Auburn. TG3 won’t be playing, while Prescott’s Bulldogs will be hosting the No. 2 Auburn Tigers with College GameDay and CBS in attendance. If he can have a big game, he’d be the obvious Heisman favorite going forward. Like many Heisman winners in years past, Prescott normally plays better in big moments, so expect him to have a huge game against the Tigers on Saturday.
  3. Vernon Hargreaves III: Florida’s top cover corner has to love this week’s matchup against the LSU Tigers, who bring in a duo of explosive wideouts but no quarterbacks to get them the ball. Hargreaves will receive the challenge he craves in covering either Travin Dural or Malachi Dupre for most of Saturday’s game, but he’ll have a chance to pad his stats when those receivers are targeted by whoever LSU has under center at the time. The Bayou Bengals have been pitiful through the air since the start of SEC play, and Hargreaves is licking his chops waiting to take advantage of LSU’s Anthony Jennings and/or Brandon Harris. He’ll either put up huge numbers, or will quietly eliminate two of the best wideouts in the conference from making an impact in a pivotal game for both teams.


  1. Hutson Mason: Mason has not played well in recent games against Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and his numbers as a passer this season have been mediocre at best. He’s averaging just 137 yards per game through the air, and he’ll have to face the best defensive end tandem in the nation this week in Missouri’s Shane Ray and Markus Golden. Expect Mason to look uncomfortable in the pocket all game, and expect him to hit his usual numbers as a passer, which is actually a bad thing for UGA. If Mason compounds his lackluster play by committing turnovers against a feisty Mizzou defense, Georgia will be at risk to lost its second SEC game of the year.
  2. Jeff Driskel: Driskel shouldn’t even be on the field this weekend against LSU, but due to Treon Harris’ legal troubles he’ll return as the starting quarterback of what remains one of the SEC’s worst offenses. Driskel has completed just 20 of 51 passes in his last two games against Alabama and Tennessee (a 39 percent completion percentage), and those 20 completions have gone for just 152 yards. Furthermore, he’s thrown for just one touchdown and five interceptions in those games, and was benched against Tennessee as Harris led the Gators to victory. After two horrendous games and a benching, Driskel’s confidence has to be at an all-time low. He knows he was benched for poor play, and knows he’ll only be playing this weekend because of Harris’ legal issues off the field. Its unlikely Driskel will be anything more than an eye sore this weekend, even against a faltering LSU squad.
  3. Deshazor Everett: The Texas A&M star is among the best corners in the nation, but he’s got his work cut out for him this week in facing a talented group of Ole Miss wideouts. Most fans know of No. 1 receiver Laquon Treadwell, who has made his fair share of big plays during the Rebels’ 5-0 start, but few fans give the rest of the Rebels wideouts enough credit for their play this season. Cody Core, Vince Sanders, Jaylen Walton and others have gashed opposing defenses in 2014, and whoever Everett is covering on a given play is going to test him in the passing game. Everett can’t be everywhere at once, and even if it takes until the second half, he will be burned due to lack of help in the back end of A&M’s defense. The Aggies rank in the bottom half of the SEC in passing defense despite Everett’s efforts, and since the Aggies can’t play against themselves outside of the practice field, Ole Miss represents the best passing offense they’ll face all year. Expect Everett to hold his own for as long as he can, but look for Ole Miss to attack him on a big play or two in the second half of Saturday’s showdown.