SEC Running Back Success Rates | Week Six

Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five

For those of you who are new to this, the Running Back Success Rate is a measure of how "successful" each of a running back's rushing attempts are. A "successful" run is one that :

Gains at least 40% of the yardage needed to move the chains on 1st down
Gains at least 60% of the yardage needed to move the chains on 2nd down
Gains at least 100% of the yardage needed to move the chains on 3rd and 4th down

Programming Note: Last week I officially gave up on keeping track of Ole Miss, and this week I'm dropping Kentucky as well. This should be a measure of the top backs in the conference, and considering neither team has even found a reliable #1 back yet it's beyond difficult to keep up with the RB committees they are using (and not well, either). I'm pretty sure after this week I'll quit tracking Vanderbilt for the same reasons, but included Zac Stacy this week since we played them.


Player Team Total ATT Successful ATT Success Rate Gained AVG
Trent Richardson Alabama 19 8 42% 107 5.6
Jalston Fowler Alabama 13 9 69% 58 4.5
Blake Sims Alabama 8 1 13% 4 .5
Michael Dyer Auburn 21 6 29% 112 5.3
Onterio McCalebb Auburn 13 5 38% 91 7.0
Michael Ford LSU 1 1 100% 2 2.0
Spencer Ware LSU 24 16 67% 109 4.5
Vick Ballard Miss. State 19 14 74% 101 5.3
Jeff Demps Florida 2 0 0% 0 0.0
Chris Rainey Florida 13 2 15% 52 4.0
Isaiah Crowell Georgia 19 7 37% 58 3.1
Marcus Lattimore South Carolina 22 16 73% 102 4.6
Tauren Poole Tennessee 7 2 29% 7 1.0
Zac Stacy Vanderbilt 4 0 0% 4 1.0

It was an odd weekend for SEC Running Backs with a lot of sub par performances.  Our own Trent Richardson dropped below the 50% mark to 42% despite a 5.6 ypc average that was greatly aided by four 10+ yard runs (two of which were 20+).  Jalston Fowler used his opportunities late in the game to come up with a very solid 69% despite only a 4.5 ypc average, mostly because his most successful runs were short yardage situations that only required a few yards.  Either way, he kept the chains moving when we needed him to. Finally, Blake Sims continues to make his case for a move to safety.

Auburn continued to be a boom or bust team, producing a 100+ yard rusher in Michael Dyer that only managed a 29% success rate.  of his 112 yards, 76 came off of three runs.  Onterio McCalebb had similar results, with a league leading 7.0 ypc but only a 38% success rate.  Of his 91 yards, roughly half (46 yards) came on three carries of 19, 12, and 15 yards. 

LSU's Michael Ford posted a perfect 100% success rate this week on one carry, a two yard rush on 1st and 5, so we'll ignore that one.  Spencer Ware, on the other hand, carried 24 times for 109 yards and a 67% success rate.  Given that LSU had to take on a respectable SEC defense in Florida, and not the woeful units UAB and Kentucky put on the field against the top two successful backs, I'd say he had the best week of them all.

And as for those top two backs, both Ballard and Lattimore had very strong success rate numbers despite fairly pedestrian ypc averages.  Though they were moving the chains, the fact that they weren't simply lighting up weak defenses should generally give you the idea that both are certainly capable workhorse backs, but not the type of guys that are going to be homerun threats if you get them into the open field.


Player Team Games Total ATT Successful ATT Success Rate Gained AVG
Trent Richardson Alabama 6 115 66 57% 729 6.3
Eddie Lacy Alabama 5 46 28 61% 397 8.6
Jalston Fowler Alabama 5 29 21 73% 177 6.1
Blake Sims Alabama 3 17 6 35% 28 1.6
Ronnie Wingo, Jr. Arkansas 5 60 27 45% 284 4.7
Michael Dyer Auburn 6 124 60 48% 679 5.5
Onterio McCalebb Auburn 6 56 23 41% 312 5.6
Michael Ford LSU 6 62 31 50% 324 5.2
Spencer Ware LSU 6 105 60 57% 432 4.1
Vick Ballard Miss. State 6 85 52 61% 531 6.2
Jeff Demps Florida 6 39 16 41% 324 8.3
Chris Rainey Florida 6 87 46 53% 467 5.4
Isaiah Crowell Georgia 6 118 47 40% 573 4.9
Marcus Lattimore South Carolina 6 146 86 59% 779 5.3
Tauren Poole Tennessee 5 78 34 44% 325 4.2
Zac Stacy Vanderbilt 5 40 15 38% 284 7.1

From a cumulative standpoint, Eddie Lacy stood pat since he didn't play, but everyone else averaged down to the point that Lacy and Vick Ballard are now leading the league at 61%. Marcus Lattimore is still the workhorse of the SEC, though if Auburn continues to ride Michael Dyer the way they have the last two weeks he could easily take that crown by the end of the season.  Overall, this weekend was brutal on the averages, with only eight backs currently at or above 50%.  Given that we're now half way through the season and into the heart of conference play, we ought to start seeing some serious separation between the top of the heap and the guys that made their numbers against cupcake out of conference defenses.

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