All SEC East head coaches are back in 2017 from last season, three new coordinators have been promoted from on staff and only Florida and Tennessee are going through a quarterback change.
The landscape is set in the SEC East, and the season is only weeks away.
A focus on the season that nears, is how teams may become better in prime areas in which games can easily be lost — namely, turnovers and penalties.
East’s most turnover-prone teams
The SEC East teams ranked from most turnovers to least in 2016:
Ball security is key in competing for wins in the SEC. If experience makes a difference, most East teams are in good shape. Many names in the backfield will remain the same, while others will be replaced with players who already have experience.
For Florida, Jordan Scarlett, Lamical Perine and Mark Thompson all return with experience.
Georgia returns two star-studded backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
Damarea Crockett of Missouri returns following a season in which he rushed for 1,062 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.
Vanderbilt’s Ralph Webb enters his senior season looking to climb the SEC’s all-time rushing career list.
Kentucky loses Boom Williams, but will return a 1,000-yard rusher in Benny Snell Jr.
Tennessee returns John Kelly, who played a vital role within the Vols’ ground game in the second half of the season last year. But Tennessee will need a trio of true freshmen to help with depth.
South Carolina returns a trio of sophomore running backs in Rico Dowdle, Ty’Son Williams and A.J. Turner.
The experience and inexperience will play a factor this season in penalties and turnovers.
Florida had the most penalties in the division with 88 in 2016. South Carolina had the least with 65 in Will Muschamp’s first season in Columbia.
Kentucky had the most combined turnovers in 2016 with 28, two more than Tennessee’s 26.
The SEC East two-time defending champion Florida Gators threw 15 interceptions last year, leading the way in the division. Along with the least amount of penalties, South Carolina had the fewest interceptions in the division with seven.
Kentucky was the worst in holding on to the ball with 16 lost fumbles. Tennessee had the second most with 14.
The best at holding on to the ball was Vanderbilt, losing only four fumbles all season. Webb didn’t fumble a single time.
Flag! East’s most penalized
Ranked from most penalty yards per game in 2016 to least:
Source: Saturday Down South