The SEC’s true freshmen sent out the regular season with a bang, creating some of the most memorable plays of the entire season in the final weekend.
Here is a recap of how some of the league’s first-year players fared in their final games of the regular season:
DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
What he did: Barnett added to his impressive season totals against Vanderbilt by recording five tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in the Volunteers’ 24-17 win.
What it means: Barnett is tied for 13th nationally with 10 sacks and is tied for third with 20.5 TFLs. Not a bad rookie season -- one in which he deserves to become the rare true freshman to earn All-SEC honors as a defensive lineman.
RB Nick Chubb, Georgia
What he did: Chubb had yet another 100-yard game, this time rushing 25 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 36 yards. On the negative side, he lost a fumble at the goal line, which came back to bite Georgia when rival Georgia Tech rallied to win in overtime.
What it means: Considering how he didn’t become Georgia’s feature back until midseason, Chubb’s 1,281 rushing yards (good for second in the SEC) and 12 touchdowns are all the more impressive. He and fellow freshman Sony Michel both lost costly fumbles inside the Tech 5-yard line, but both backs have been impressive overall.
RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
What he did: Fournette earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for his efforts against Texas A&M. The star freshman ran 19 times for 146 yards and scored a highlight-reel touchdown when he ran over A&M safety Howard Matthews. Fournette also returned three kickoffs for 34 yards.
What it means: The touchdown run -- highly reminiscent of a memorable run Georgia legend Herschel Walker made against Tennessee as a freshman -- was one of the plays of the year in the SEC. Fournette has had an up-and-down first season, but he has still posted four 100-yard games and has a respectable 891 rushing yards and eight touchdowns entering bowl season.
4Q TA&M K. Allen pass,to S. Noil for 27 yds for a TD, (J. Lambo KICK)
Kyle Allen pass complete to Speedy Noil for 27 yds for a TD
WR Speedy Noil, Texas A&M
What he did: Not to be outdone by his fellow New Orleans native Fournette, Noil also made highlight reels with his leaping 27-yard touchdown catch over LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White. Noil finished with four catches for 46 yards, returned four kickoffs for 50 yards and returned one punt for 1 yard.
What it means: Noil also lost a fumble on a kickoff return, which LSU recovered and turned into a field goal (and a 17-7 lead) just before halftime. The freshman proved once again he is one of the Aggies’ most explosive players, but that was a costly turnover in A&M's 23-17 loss.
4Q UK S. Williams run for 14 yds for a TD
Stanley Williams run for 14 yds for a TD
RB Stanley Williams, Kentucky
What he did: Williams concluded an impressive freshman season with 126 rushing yards and touchdowns of 11 and 14 yards on 18 carries against Louisville. He also caught three passes for 13 yards in the Wildcats’ 44-40 loss.
What it means: One of Kentucky’s highlights came midway through the fourth quarter when Williams bulled his way through three Louisville defenders to score the go-ahead touchdown. The defense couldn’t preserve the lead, meaning the Wildcats fell short of bowl eligibility, but Williams still finished the season with 488 rushing yards, 162 receiving yards and an average of 116.1 all-purpose yards per game.
DB Jamal Adams, LSU: Recorded a team-high eight tackles, one tackle for loss and broke up a pass in LSU’s win over Texas A&M.
OLB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia: Made eight tackles and one tackle for loss against Georgia Tech.
WR Malachi Dupre, LSU: Caught one pass for 41 yards against Texas A&M.
QB Treon Harris, Florida: Completed 13 of 32 passes for 169 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and also ran nine times for 41 yards against Florida State.
DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M: Recorded four tackles against LSU.
DE Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss: Made five tackles and a sack against Mississippi State.
DB Todd Kelly Jr., Tennessee: Intercepted a pass and made one tackle against Vanderbilt.
PK Aaron Medley, Tennessee: Made a 36-yard field goal and all three of his PATs in a win against Vanderbilt.
RB Sony Michel, Georgia: Ran nine times for 49 yards but also lost a key fumble at the goal line in the loss to Georgia Tech.
P J.K. Scott, Alabama: Punted twice against Auburn and averaged 55.5 yards per attempt, including a long of 70.
DB Devin Voorhies, LSU: Forced Noil’s fumbled kickoff return that led to an LSU field goal before halftime against Texas A&M.
PK Gary Wunderlich, Ole Miss: Made a 39-yard field goal, all four of his PATs and punted once for 46 yards in a win against Mississippi State.