Top 10 plays of 2015 SEC football season
So many great plays. So many great play-makers.
We did the unthinkable and tried to rank the 10 best of the 2015 SEC football season.
Even more unthinkable: We did it without the help of Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry.
No. 10 Nick Chubb’s 83-yard TD against Alabama
Why? Alabama allowed one rushing play longer than 30 yards this season. One. And it was Chubb’s 83-yard burst up the middle for a TD. He sprinted past Reggie Ragland and outran Alabama’s secondary.
9. Ralph Webb’s 74-yard TD run against Florida
Why? Florida allowed just two runs of 40-plus yards this season. It ranked 17th nationally in rushing defense. Webb, a high school standout in Gainesville whom the Gators ignored during the recruiting process, certainly caught their attention — during and after Vanderbilt’s longest play from scrimmage this season.
Can't wait to check out film on Ralph Webb's 74-yard TD run. Vandy had thrown 4 passes. Not sure what Gators LBs were doing, expecting.
— Chris Wright (@FilmRoomEditor) November 7, 2015
8. Leonard Fournette’s 87-yard TD run vs. South Carolina
Why? It’s almost impossible to believe a man that big — 6-1, 230 pounds — can outrace SEC defensive backs for the better part of 70 yards, but that’s what Fournette did when he turned a simple inside handoff into an 87-yard foot race. About 5 yards in, he made a sharp cut to make a linebacker miss, then outran everybody else. It was LSU’s longest play from scrimmage this season and also put him over the 1,000-yard mark in just the fifth game.
7. Myles Garrett’s tipped pass, interception vs. Ole Miss
Why? Garrett is the SEC’s next freak. The Texas A&M standout sophomore led the league with 11.5 sacks. He’s fast enough to beat running backs to the edge. He unleashed all of his athletic ability in one play in a highly anticipated showdown against Ole Miss LT Laremy Tunsil.
In one swift sequence, Garrett burst off the line, by Tunsil, leaped to tip Chad Kelly’s screen pass, tracked it and caught it.
Most defensive ends would have been happy to do just one of those things. Garrett combined them in one highlight.
6. Evan Berry’s 88-yard kickoff return for TD
Why? OK, it was against Western Carolina. He still broke four tackles and appeared stuffed at the 35 until he spun free and raced untouched down the sideline for the best of his 3 TD returns this season.
5. Eddie Jackson’s 93-yard interception return against Texas A&M
Why? Not only did Jackson end an Aggies’ scoring drive, he weaved through seven defenders for a game-sealing pick-6. The play also produced one of the better “sad fans are sad” reactions.
— BamaVine (@BamaVine) October 17, 2015
4. Vanderbilt executes “Sneaky Pete” TD against Kentucky
Why? Oh, this was evil. Evil genius. Vanderbilt planned it, even showing SEC officials a diagram of its devious alignment beforehand for approval before unleashing it on an unsuspecting Kentucky bunch.
Call of the year by Vandy. Caleb Scott stayed on sideline, just barely in bounds. Quick snap. Throw to sideline for wide open TD.
— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) November 14, 2015
Coming out of a timeout, receiver Caleb Scott and his teammates trotted to the huddle. Scott turned, and headed back to the bench. He stopped and squatted a couple of feet in-bounds.
Kentucky never saw Scott, so it never covered him. Just before halftime, when running out the clock seemed more logical, Kyle Shurmur took the snap, wheeled and threw to Scott, who raced 37 yards for a touchdown.
After a little trickery, Kentucky forgets Caleb Scott is on the field and leaves him unmarked to r… – https://t.co/GJoBxcqUJ2
— TBDD (@BIGDirtyDawg) November 15, 2015
The play is the brain-child of Vandy offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who told reporters he’s tried it three times in a game, and this was the second time it worked.
“It felt like the ball took forever to get to me,” Scott told nola.com. “It was one of the toughest catches, because you’re just thinking so much. But we repped it so many times in practice, and Kyle and I were confident. I looked it (the pass) in and took off.”
— Mickey Ryan (@MickeyRyan1045) November 15, 2015
3. Laquon Treadwell’s one-handed TD grab against New Mexico State
Why? The double move created space. The balance to stay in-bounds was special. Treadwell seemingly had a highlight play or two each Saturday, but this one-handed grab was his best.
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) October 10, 2015
2. Ole Miss’ 66-yard tipped pass TD against Alabama
Why? Where to begin? The snap almost sailed over QB Chad Kelly’s head. He deflected it, caught it and then made the a questionable decision to throw it just as two Alabama defenders drilled him.
The pass resembled a lob. Two more Alabama defenders closed in on Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell, hitting him just as he tried to catch it. The ball deflected into Quincy Adeboyejo’s hands, and he raced the rest of the way for a most unlikely TD.
1. Arkansas’ 4th-and-25 OT conversion against Ole Miss
Why? A penalty and sack set up 4th-and-impossible.
Hunter Henry caught Brandon Allen’s initial pass but was hit almost immediately, 10 yards shy of a first down. While falling, Henry spun and lateraled the ball 20 yards, where it was tipped and bounced perfectly into Alex Collins’ hands at the 42 — 2 yards behind the original line of scrimmage. Collins then covered 50 total yards, initially sprinting across the field before cutting up behind several blockers to pick up the first down.
Arkansas scored two plays later and won it when Allen dived over for the 2-point conversion in overtime.
The SEC’s wildest play knocked the Rebels out of the SEC Championship game.
It was so wild ESPN called in the Sport Science crew to break it down.