SEC Football: Most Impressive Individual Performances from Week 1

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2013

Aug 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Christion Jones (22) celebrates a touchdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the third quarter of the 2013 Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of the college football season provided mixed results for SEC teams, but a few players really stood out.

Obviously, there are plenty of question marks after the weekend. Georgia was expected to be a national title contender, but the Bulldogs could not top Clemson despite a big game from Todd Gurley.

Mississippi State also struggled in a loss to Oklahoma State, while Texas A&M and Florida each had trouble in wins over inferior opponents.

Still, these players led their team to success thanks to excellent performances. Efforts like these will lead to big things for each squad.

Christion Jones, WR, Alabama

There are so many talented players on Alabama, it is easy to overlook Christion Jones heading into the year. However, he put himself on the map thanks to a spectacular showing against Virginia Tech.

The junior started off the scoring with a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown just two minutes into the game. He then added a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter and a 38-yard touchdown reception in the third.

AJ McCarron and the rest of the offense struggled throughout the game against the Hokie defense. The offense managed only 206 yards from scrimmage and scored only two touchdowns, including the bomb to Jones.

However, Jones found a way to carry his team when it needed help the most, and he ensured that Alabama would start the season off with a win.

Justin Worley, QB, Tennessee

Although Tennessee was only playing Austin Peay, the squad should proud of its 45-0 win after a terrible year last season.

The key to the offensive success was quarterback Justin Worley, who showed that he is more than capable of running the show for the Volunteers. He completed 11-of-13 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns.

These obviously are not huge numbers as the team did not need to run up the score, but he showed great accuracy as well as poise in the pocket for an efficient day of work.

Worley came into the game with one touchdown and five interceptions in his career, so seeing good decision making out of the quarterback is an excellent sign going forward.

Corey Grant, RB, Auburn

There were a number of great performances from running backs in the SEC.

Arkansas had two 100-yard rushers in Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, LSU's Terrence Magee had two touchdowns, and Gurley kept Georgia in contention with a strong day.

However, no one was able to do more with less than Corey Grant of Auburn against Washington State.

The junior was far down the depth chart after totaling only nine rushing attempts in his career entering the season. However, he made his next nine carries count by totaling 146 rushing yards.

Grant was able to show off his speed with a 75-yard touchdown run to tie the game in the second quarter, and his skill set could be useful for Auburn for the rest of the season. He and Tre Mason can combine to give the Tigers a formidable duo this year.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

While Vanderbilt was unable to beat Ole Miss in a 39-35 loss, it should not take away from the performance of Jordan Matthews.

The elite receiver totaled 10 catches for 178 receiving yards and a touchdown. Whenever the Commodores needed someone to make a play, they looked in Matthews' direction and he was able to come through.

This is something Vanderbilt will have to do a lot this season because of their inconsistent passing game. Austyn Carta-Samuels will have an opportunity to just lob it up to his 6'3" receiver and assume that Matthews will be able to come down with it.

If he can carry the offense, this team will have a chance to get a lot of wins in the SEC East. 

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