Impact Performance of the Week: Nick Chubb
SEC Now decides that Nick Chubb gave the performance of the week after scoring two touchdowns against UNC.
The SEC didn’t do itself any favors Week 1, but there were still plenty of impressive individual performances worthy of a helmet sticker.
It’s time to hand out the first batch of the season.
RB Nick Chubb, Georgia: Is there a better story in all of college football? We all remember the gruesome knee injury Chubb suffered against Tennessee last year. Less than 11 months later, he made his return to the field and looked like his old self. Chubb showed the power, the burst, the vision and that breakaway speed as he rushed for 222 yards and two touchdowns and helped lead the Bulldogs to a win against North Carolina in the season opener. Leonard Fournette might have some competition as the SEC's top back this year.
TE Evan Engram, Ole Miss: The loss stings. Blowing a 22-point lead stings even more. But Engram made his case as the SEC’s best tight end Monday night with a team-high nine catches for 121 yards and a touchdown against Florida State. He was clearly Chad Kelly’s favorite target and made a couple of nice grabs in traffic. Engram had a chance to leave early for the NFL but opted to return for his senior year. That’s bad news for opposing defenses.
DB Justin Evans, Texas A&M: The Aggies defense looked legit Saturday in A&M's win over UCLA. And as impressive as the defensive line looked, it was Evans who pulled down two crucial fourth-quarter interceptions. The first one came at the goal line with the Bruins knocking on the door step. Then in the final minute, he intercepted Josh Rosen a second time to thwart another UCLA drive and force the game into overtime. Evans also finished with eight tackles and an additional pass breakup on the day.
K Elliott Fry, South Carolina: Give Perry Orth credit for returning to the game in the second half and putting the Gamecocks in position to beat Vanderbilt. But the hero was kicker Elliott Fry, who drilled a career-long 55-yard field goal in the final minute to win the game. Fry missed eight field goals last year, but between the 55-yarder and a 48-yard kick he converted earlier in the game, the senior is a perfect 2-for-2 to start this year.
DB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama: Wait, there’s an Alabama player not named Hurts on here? Is that a misprint? No. As terrific as Jalen Hurts was in his collegiate debut, it was Humphrey who earned the helmet sticker for Week 1. Humphrey locked down USC star JuJu Smith-Schuster, holding the top wide receiver on Mel Kiper’s Big Board to just once catch for nine yards. Plus, it was Humphrey’s interception return for a touchdown late in the first half that turned the momentum in the Crimson Tide’s favor.
OC Lane Kiffin, Alabama: A bonus helmet sticker goes out to Kiffin, whose offense put up 465 yards against his former team Saturday. Kiffin turned Blake Sims and Jake Coker into 3,000-yard passers his first two seasons at Alabama and it looks like he might do the same with a true freshman quarterback this year. There were a lot of bad offensive performances in the SEC over the weekend, but the Tide keep putting up points, thanks to Kiffin.