Saturday Sleepers: Dobbs rises to challenge against Alabama
After every weekend of games, you always hear about the performances of stars like Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. But there are also the performances you don’t hear as much about, coming from some under-the-radar SEC players…the sleepers.
Who were the best of the Saturday Sleepers from Week 9? Take a look.
Tennessee didn’t do its sophomore quarterback any favors by giving him his first serious playing time of 2014 in a heated showdown with No. 4 Alabama, but Dobbs rose to the occasion (all things considered) and played a very nice game to keep UT within striking distance in the fourth quarter. He completed 59 percent of his passes and threw for two touchdowns with just one interception, and did all of this off the bench after Nathan Peterman started the game under center for the Volunteers. Dobbs could be Tennessee’s quarterback of the future, and Saturday’s showing in a 14-point loss to the Crimson Tide has to make Vols fans feel better about their team’s future.
Missouri’s defensive end tandem of Shane Ray and Markus Golden is widely regarded as the best pair of ends in the nation, but the Tigers’ defensive line has as much depth as it does star power. Hoch is part of that depth, and he had a career day in Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt. The redshirt senior led the team with six tackles, and added 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in the 24-14 victory. Hoch had just six tackles on the season entering Week 9, but he showed he’s been a diamond in the rough all along with a huge performance in a game Mizzou couldn’t afford to lose. Hoch starred and the Tigers survived as a result.
LSU’s defensive stars don’t have the same recognition as stars of years past, but that doesn’t mean this year’s defense isn’t full of star-caliber players. Hunter is one of those stars, and although he isn’t talked about much in the national media he’s been a playmaker all year, including Saturday’s thrilling 10-7 win over Ole Miss. Hunter finished second on the team with nine tackles, including two tackles for loss and a half-sack in the victory. He was a disruptive force on the offensive line all night, and helped limit Ole Miss to its worst offensive production of the season. Hunter is big, strong and a freak athlete, and he won’t remain a sleeper in the SEC for much longer.
Louis got just four touches in Saturday’s 42-35 win against South Carolina, but those four touches were all he needed to post a breakout game for the Tigers. He amassed 109 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the victory, burning South Carolina defenders like a human torch. Louis took his game to another level, lifting Auburn with a 75-yard touchdown run in the second half of the victory. He averaged 11.3 yards on each of his other three touches, keeping drives alive in a 42-point performance by the Tigers’ offense. Auburn avoided disaster by holding on to beat South Carolina, and Louis was a huge reason why.
Robinson is one of few seniors on a young Kentucky offense, but he had a career day for the Wildcats in a near-upset of No. 1 Mississippi State. The Cats were a combined 9-27 in Robinson’s first three seasons, but they’ve stepped their game up in 2014 and so has he. He caught four passes for 86 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown in which he tightroped the sideline to stay in bounds before running half the length of the field to get to the end zone. Robinson’s big play got Kentucky on the board early in the game, tying the score at 7-all while giving the underdog Cats life on their home field. Kentucky still lost by 14, but Robinson was both consistent and explosive in defeat.