Week 1 of the 2017 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments from the SEC. The weekend slate featured huge non-conference wins by Alabama, Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina. Additionally, Vanderbilt and Kentucky picked up victories on the road against Conference USA teams, and Georgia defeated Appalachian State 31-10.
With the first weekend of the 2017 season in the books, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor some of the top performances from the SEC. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, team, freshman and unsung hero from Week 1:
SEC Week 1 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Lock was on fire in Missouri’s 72-43 victory over Missouri State. The junior threw for 521 yards on 21 completions and tossed seven touchdown passes. The 521 yards and seven touchdown passes were both school records. Missouri also recorded 815 overall yards in the victory.
Defensive Player of the Week: Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama
Hamilton anchored a strong effort by Alabama’s defense in Saturday night’s win over Florida State. The senior led the Crimson Tide with eight tackles, with 3.5 of those going for a loss. He also recorded one sack.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Josh Heupel, Missouri
The Week 1 victory over Missouri State was a record-setting day for Missouri’s offense. Heupel’s guided this unit to a school record in overall yards (815) and passing yardage (521), recorded 72 points and a whopping 10.9 yards per play. Additionally, the Tigers scored three touchdowns of 50 yards or more.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Dave Aranda, LSU
LSU’s defense didn’t have standout edge rusher Arden Key and utilized a handful of freshmen against BYU on Saturday night. However, the Tigers didn’t miss a beat and suffocated the Cougars offense for 60 minutes. Aranda’s group only gave up 97 total yards, as BYU never crossed midfield and only one drive went longer than 20 yards. LSU also registered three sacks, one interception, five pass breakups and allowed the Cougars to convert just 2 of 10 third-down attempts.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Fromm was pressed into duty after starting quarterback Jacob Eason suffered a sprained knee in the first quarter. The true freshman was composed and sharp in his first appearance, completing 10 of 15 throws for 143 yards and one touchdown.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Andraez Williams, CB, LSU
Williams used a redshirt year in his first season at LSU and is poised to take on a significant role in the secondary for 2017. The Shreveport native earned the start in the opener against BYU and forced the team’s only takeaway (an interception) and also recorded three tackles.
Team of the Week: Alabama
The path to the national championship runs through Tuscaloosa once again. The Crimson Tide showcased their rebuilt defense in a standout effort against Florida State, as Nick Saban’s team won 24-7 over the Seminoles. In addition to creating a couple of breaks on special teams, Alabama limited Florida State to 250 yards, recorded nine tackles for a loss and forced three turnovers. The big-play connection of quarterback Jalen Hurts to receiver Calvin Ridley in the first half was just enough on offense against a tough Seminole defense.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
In addition to leading Alabama’s offense with 73 rushing yards, Harris also blocked a punt that led to a field goal in the third quarter. The junior also notched a rushing touchdown in the third quarter.