Week 2 of the 2017 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments from the SEC. The weekend slate featured easy non-conference wins for Mississippi State, Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and LSU. South Carolina kicked off SEC play with a victory at Missouri, with Georgia picking up the league's most impressive win (at Notre Dame) for Week 2.
With the second 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 2:
SEC Week 2 College Football Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State
Mississippi State’s offense had no trouble moving the ball in Saturday night’s win at Louisiana Tech. Behind quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, the Bulldogs averaged 7.6 yards per play and converted 5 of 10 third-down attempts. Fitzgerald was efficient (12 of 18 for 124 yards and three touchdowns) through the air and led the team with 111 yards and two rushing scores.
Defensive Player of the Week: Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia
Carter wreaked havoc all night against Notre Dame’s offense in the 20-19 victory in South Bend. The senior recorded seven tackles (one for a loss), one sack, two quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. Carter’s forced fumble with less than two minutes remaining ended any chance of a Notre Dame comeback and secured the road victory for Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Mel Tucker, Georgia
Tucker and coach Kirby Smart had an outstanding gameplan for Saturday night’s win at Notre Dame. Georgia’s defense limited the Fighting Irish to just 265 total yards and a 3 of 17 conversion rate on third downs. Additionally, the Bulldogs forced two fumbles and generated nine tackles for a loss. Of Notre Dame’s final seven drives, only one drive went longer than 35 yards.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Fromm wasn’t overly prolific in Saturday’s win over Notre Dame, but the true freshman provided steady play in his first career start. Fromm completed 16 of 29 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown against the Fighting Irish.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU
For the second week in a row, a LSU player takes home SEC defensive freshman of the week honors. Chaisson showcased his pass rush ability in an easy win over Chattanooga on Saturday night, recording four tackles (2.5 for a loss), two sacks and one quarterback hurry.
Team of the Week: Georgia
The large contingent of Georgia fans that made the trek to South Bend certainly weren’t disappointed on Saturday night. On the strength of a standout defense, the Bulldogs edged Notre Dame 20-19. Georgia’s defense limited the Fighting Irish to only 265 yards, recorded nine tackles for a loss and held the ground attack to just 1.5 yards per rush. True freshman quarterback Jake Fromm (16 of 29 for 141 yards) was steady for Georgia’s offense in his first start, and the one-two punch of running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb combined for 136 yards on 26 carries. The Bulldogs look like the team to beat in the SEC East this year.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
South Carolina’s offense continues to impress behind sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley, but Samuel is also quietly off to a strong start. The junior led the team with 45 receiving yards on five catches and also rushed for 25 yards and one touchdown in Saturday’s win at Missouri. Additionally, Samuel returned a kickoff for a score for the second week in a row.