October 30th, 2013 03:30 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: ARK, AUB, SEC, USC
Examining the fantastic fourth-quarter numbers for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel last week, we became interested in seeing which SEC players performed best when the game was on the line. Naturally, we then began to wonder which players were the best right out of the gate as well.
Below we’ve listed the SEC’s 10 best rushers and passers in both the first and fourth quarters. First, we’ll look at the 10 league running backs who most often enjoy hot starts.
Fast Starting Running Backs (minimum 22 first-quarter carries)
|Player||School||Yds/Carry 1st Q||1st Q Carries|
Jeremy Hill averages nearly 10 yards per first-quarter carry, better than anyone else in the SEC. Russel Hansbrough of Missouri ranks second, but he’s had 20 fewer carries than Hill. To average 9.38 yards per carry on 42 carries is simply amazing.
Two quarterbacks make the list of hot starters — Auburn’s Nick Marshall and, of course, Texas A&M’s Manziel. Auburn’s steady ground attack landed two players on this list (Marshall and Tre Mason). Ditto Arkansas with Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Ben Malena pairs with Manziel to give Kevin Sumlin’s offense two representatives as well.
Strong Finishing Running Backs (minimum 22 fourth-quarter carries)
|Player||School||Yds/Carry 4th Q||4th Q Carries|
Arkansas’ Collins is both a fast starter and a strong finisher. His 7.10 yards-per-carry average would (as well as Williams’ 5.50 average) would likely help the Hogs close out a game… if they ever grabbed a late lead.
Gus Malzahn’s Auburn offense actually boasts three of the strongest finishers in the league in Marshall, Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne. Aside from Marshall, the only other quarterback on this list is South Carolina’s Connor Shaw, who forms a tandem with running Mike Davis.
Next we turn our attention to the SEC’s starting quarterbacks, specifically those 10 who consistently get off to fast starts. Below is a comparison of the 10 best first-quarter passers according quarterback rating.
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