The SEC went almost undefeated during the first week of college football, which was widely expected to happen. Still, just because the wins were ubiquitous doesn’t mean everyone looked like winners. Here is the first edition of SEC’s “Hot or Not” in 2015.


  • Ole Miss everything. The Rebels had 662 total offense yardage against UT-Martin, and nine different offensive players scored a touchdown. Chad Kelly threw for 211 yards, 2 touchdowns and capped his performance with a 20-yard touchdown run. The Ole Miss defense held UT-Martin to 174 passing yards and 116 rushing yards. They forced two fumbles, hit the quarterback five times, and accounted for four tackles for a loss. Robert Nkemdiche also blocked a field goal attempt.
  • Tennessee’s running backs. Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd may have been the best rushing duo in the SEC this week. Kamara accounted for 15 carries for 144 yards, and Hurd had 23 carries for 123 yards. Both outran Georgia’s Nick Chubb, and Arkansas’ famed two-back attack largely featured only one back during their season opener against UTEP. How productive Kamara and Hurd can be against a stouter defense remains to be seen, but so far things are looking good.
  • The Texas A&M defense. The analysts of College GameDay kept coming back to this SEC-Pac-12 showdown with excitement, mostly regarding how high Arizona State could potentially rise this season. With pleasure, the Aggies defense put those aspirations in check. Daeshon Hall accounted for 4 sacks, and Myles Garrett for another 2. In total, the defense caused 9 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, and 5 forced fumbles. Not a good Saturday to be Arizona State.


  • Auburn’s passing game. All analysts who were flying “Jeremy Johnson for Heisman” flags hid them quickly after a subpar performance from Auburn’s quarterback. He connected on 11 of 21 attempts for 137 yards. (There were a few instances where he put the ball where it needed to be, but the receiver dropped it.) He also only had 1 touchdown to his 3 interceptions. It’s clear he has the arm strength, but his decision-making is not where Auburn needs it to be. He is also an awkward runner, something Auburn is not used to.
  • Vanderbilt’s offense. The Commodores are the reason why we can’t say the SEC went undefeated during Week 1 play. When looking at team stats alone, all numbers point to what should be a Vanderbilt victory. The Commodores had more first downs, longer time of possession, more rushing and passing yards, and less penalties. But offensively, Vanderbilt was just sloppy. In the five trips Vandy made inside Western Kentucky’s 10-yard line, they scored 9 points. QB Johnny McCrary threw balls behind his receivers, and to players in opposing uniforms.
  • Alabama’s kicker. Adam Griffith may have a compelling backstory, but he only wins favors on the football field if he gets the job done. He missed both field goal tries against Wisconsin on Saturday, one from 44 yards out and another from 39 yards. It should go without saying that those distances should be almost guaranteed for any kicker worth his merit, and as Alabama starts to face tougher opponents, every single point will start to count. The Crimson Tide has to wonder: if the game is on the line and one field goal is the difference between victory and defeat, can they really trust Griffith?