How will you remember 2016? Each SEC team's signature play of the year
The 2016 season will probably remembered as the year of Alabama and everybody else. But that doesn’t mean the other 13 SEC teams didn’t have their share of exciting moments. We’re focusing in on the biggest play of each team’s season — naming a signature play for each SEC program.
In many ways, this is the hardest pick. Bama has played two close games, and has more highlights than can be counted. But a signature play?
How about Jonathan Allen’s Superman sack against Trevor Knight.
Everyone has seen Jonathan Allen's "superman" sack. But watch before snap: he point up with hand to indicate it's a pass. Awareness & skill. pic.twitter.com/40jjypCauG
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) October 27, 2016
It was so good — so Jadeveon Clowney-like — it deserved a second angle.
— Sisco (@OchoSisco) October 24, 2016
It was an up and down year for the Hogs, but an epic moment came when jumbo OT Dan Skipper saved its Week 2 game by blocking a potentially game-winning short TCU field goal. Air Dan saved the day.
Large parts of Auburn’s season were impressive. Others were flirting with disaster. So it seems appropriate that the Tigers’ signature play be a game-losing touchdown to LSU– that ended up not being a touchdown. We’ll call it “Nix-Six.” For a team that had a few reversals, why not let one be their signature moment?
For the Tigers, it was a physical, draining, crazy kind of season. LSU lost late against not only Auburn, but also Florida and Wisconsin. But when it worked … well, Derrius Guice could have his own highlight film. And then there is LSU’s second most productive back, who ran over an Ole Miss DB on this play, reminding us all of what might have been for LSU in 2016.
The Rebels’ season began with an eye toward the College Football Playoff. It ended, unfortunately, with the best attribute being a look toward the future — namely, the future of QB Shea Patterson, who provided the season’s signature moment by leading a comeback win over Texas A&M — demonstrated here with a bullet touchdown pass to get Ole Miss back into the game.
The Bulldogs had their fair share of struggles, but righted the ship down the stretch, thumping Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, but also knocking then No. 4 Texas A&M out of the playoff picture. A signature play? How about Nick Fitzgerald taking State’s first offensive play against A&M to the house?
A&M, as you can see above, started the season like gangbusters, and ended the season just busted. But a signature moment? The A&M-Tennessee game was a fascinating matchup of high scoring teams that wouldn’t quit scoring. A&M’s overtime pick to end the game and send them unbeaten into Tuscaloosa was about as big-league as it gets.
For the team of defensive genius and brutal offenses, it’s only appropriate that their signature play for 2016 is a stop. One yard separated LSU from victory over the Gators, but Florida wrapped up a second consecutive SEC East division title by holding that yard.
It was a fairly rough year for the Bulldogs. A stop against Auburn probably meant more, but when you’re looking for a big time play, how about Jacob Eason’s 4th-down touchdown to beat Missouri? Eason led another fourth-quarter comeback to beat Kentucky, but the Mizzou pass is the stuff from which legends are born.
The win over Louisville will have more significance from the upswing of UK’s program, but the play that made the Wildcats’ season was their first last-play game winner since 1998, when Austin MacGinnis hit a 51-yard field goal to beat Mississippi State.
In a tough year for the Tigers, when Drew Lock’s passing was the team’s strong suit, it was a return to defense that provided the most memorable moment. In a game long after the season was over, Missouri rose up once more, with Aarion Penton picking off Arkansas’ Austin Allen to seal the upset.
It wasn’t always pretty, but Will Muschamp’s crew fought and defended and rounded up six wins. The best? Beating Tennessee, here with a game-sealing play from Jamarcus King.
So many moments to choose from. In most years, the burning of Teez Tabor would qualify as the signature moment. But most years didn’t have a Dobbsnail Boot.
Zach Cunningham no longer is the most unheralded player in the SEC.
He’s been so dominant for so long, it’s impossible to not know who he is. But just in case, he reminded us with this ridiculously combination of brains and athleticism to block a kick against Auburn.
— (@3lone) November 5, 2016