We’re down to the final three regular-season games in the SEC, meaning there’s still time for players to make an impact. But when one player thrives, it often comes at the expense of another.

Here’s a look at some of the favorable (and not so favorable) matchups during Week 11 play in the SEC that will result in some players booming and others going bust.


  1. RB Jalen Hurd There aren’t too many teams that give up more rushing touchdowns than North Texas. Only Eastern Michigan and Texas Tech surrender more scores on the ground than the 32 touchdowns that the Mean Green have coughed up this year. That’s great news for Tennessee’s power running game, led by Jalen Hurd. The sophomore (815 yards) leads the Volunteers with nine touchdowns. Combined with backfield mate Alvin Kamara (four TDs) and quarterback Joshua Dobbs, the Vols have tallied 20 rushing scores as a team. Expect a big game from Tennessee on the ground to mellow the Mean Green.
  2. WR Travin Dural After hauling in just 120 yards and no scores in his first four games, Travin Dural has exploded in his next four contests with 383 yards and three touchdowns. The LSU junior gets a favorable matchup in Week 11 against an Arkansas team that gives up the most receiving yards (283.6 YPG) in the SEC. Dural only had two catches last week in the Tigers’ loss to Alabama, but made them count with 77 yards and a touchdown. Expect him to be targeted even more against the Razorbacks and challenge for his third 100-yard game in the past five tilts.
  3. Missouri Rush DefenseBYU can certainly air the ball out. Just ask the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Or the Boise State Broncos. The Cougars’ Week 11 matchup against Missouri will pit one of the nation’s top passing offenses in BYU (294.3 YPG, No. 22 nationally) against one its best passing defenses (177.3 YPG). Where BYU is vulnerable, however, is in its run game, where the Cougars rush for 146.6 YPG, ranking them No. 96 in the country. BYU’s duo of Algernon Brown (490 yards, eight TDs) and Adam Hine (321 yards, two TDs) face a Tigers’ rush defense that’s ranks among the best in the NCAA, yielding just 121.2 YPG. Missouri’s struggling offense might be a hindrance to beating BYU in Arrowhead Stadium. But the Tigers’ No. 3 defense in the SEC should hopefully give Gary Pinkel’s program a fighting shot.


  1. RB Stanley “Boom” Williams Stanley “Boom” Williams returns to action on Saturday after missing Week 10 and parts of Week 9 with an elbow injury. Head coach Mark Stoops said Kentucky’s leading rusher (563 yards) will wear a brace on the injured wing when his Wildcats travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt. The sophomore’s return, however, doesn’t promise to be an easy one as the Commodores possess one of the staunchest defenses in the SEC. Williams has had some success, collecting three 100-yard performances this season. But those efforts came against less-than-stellar defenses in Auburn, Louisiana-Lafayette and South Carolina. Vandy’s defense is second to only Alabama in the conference when it comes to stopping the run. Williams only has three touchdowns on the season. The Commodores, by comparison, have given up just eight touchdowns on the ground, or less than one per game. The stage is set for a long Saturday for Williams and the Wildcats.
  2. LB Cassanova McKinzy Cassanova McKinzy is not going to love playing against the Georgia Bulldogs. Auburn’s sack leader (4.0) goes up against the SEC East’s top offensive line in Week 11. Mark Richt’s Bulldogs give up an average of 1.0 sacks per game, tying them with Arkansas among the conference’s elite. The Tigers defense has only 13 sacks on the year, second-worst in the SEC to, ironically, the Razorbacks. Georgia’s defense trails only Toledo for tops in the nation in tackles-for-loss (3.33 per game). Will Muschamp’s defense has seen a bit of a revitalization in recent weeks, but going up against the Bulldogs’ offensive line will challenge the Auburn linebackers, most notably McKinzy.
  3. Texas A&M Rush Defense Texas A&M holds the dubious honor of having the worst rushing defense in the SEC. Ordinarily a matchup against an FCS school is a cure-all for a team’s woes. But that’s not the case with Western Carolina, who arrives in College Station in Week 11 led by Detrez Newsome. The sophomore has 857 rushing yards on the season, 128 of which came in Week 3 against Tennessee, a considerably-better rushing defense than Texas A&M. Newsome also returned five kicks for 111 yards against the Volunteers. Fortunately, the Aggies have the SEC’s best kick-return defense. Whether it’s enough to slow Newsome remains to be seen.