Running Backs Success Rates | Week 2

Jeremy Hill, displaying excellent anti-sucker-punch technique. - Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Time for some more running back success rate analysis. The whole point of this exercise is to try to look past general stats (like yards per carry), which can be heavily influenced by outliers, and isolate how often a running back is successfully putting his team in position to convert first downs.

What constitutes a "successful" run? A run is considered successful under the following conditions:

  • On first down, the runner must gain 40%+ of the yardage necessary to reach a first down.
  • On second downs, the runner must gain 60%+ of the remaining yardage necessary for a first down.
  • On third and fourth downs, the runner must gain 100%+ of the remaining yardage necessary for a first down.

To put some simple numbers to it, if a runner ran the ball three consecutive times in a standard 1st and 10 situation, he would have to gain 4 yards on first down (40% of 10 yards), 4 yards on second down (60% of 6 yards), and 2 yards on third or fourth down (100% of the remaining 2 yards).

The tables are a bit large, but they are sortable, so hopefully you guys won't find them to be unwieldy.

Week 2 stats:

Team Player Week Total # Attempts Successful Attempts Success Rate Yards Gained Yards Per Carry
Arkansas Jonathan Williams 2 17 14 82.4% 126 7.4
Arkansas Alex Collins 2 24 13 54.2% 172 7.2
Auburn Corey Grant 2 8 6 75.0% 57 7.1
Auburn Cameron Artis-Payne 2 19 12 63.2% 102 5.4
Auburn Tre Mason 2 14 6 42.9% 79 5.6
LSU Alfred Blue 2 3 2 66.7% 8 2.7
LSU Terrence Magee 2 4 0 0.0% 7 1.8
LSU Jeremy Hill 2 6 4 66.7% 65 10.8
Ole Miss Jeff Scott 2 4 3 75.0% 18 4.5
Texas A&M Ben Malena 2 10 8 80.0% 97 9.7
Texas A&M Tra Carson 2 9 9 100.0% 51 5.7
Florida Mack Brown 2 10 5 50.0% 29 2.9
Georgia Todd Gurley 2 30 16 53.3% 147 4.9
Georgia Keith Marshall 2 7 5 71.4% 58 8.3
Kentucky Raymond Sanders 2 6 4 66.7% 39 6.5
Missouri Henry Josey 2 9 6 66.7% 26 2.9
South Carolina Mike Davis 2 16 9 56.3% 149 9.3
Tennessee Rajion Neal 2 15 12 80.0% 64 4.3
Vanderbilt Wesley Tate 2 5 2 40.0% 17 3.4

How about some weekly awards? First off, the "workhorse" award goes to Georgia's Todd Gurley. Gurley had 30 carries against South Carolina (the most in a game by an SEC back so far this season), and if you watched the game, it was plain to see why Coach Richt kept feeding number 3. Gurley is a fantastic specimen, and has even drawn some favorable (and I think, apt) comparisons to Trent Richardson.

The "Dat's some good runnin'" award goes to Texas A&M's Tra Carson, who managed a 100% success rate on nine carries, which is no small feat, even if A&M was playing Southwestern Dallas Christian High School.

Nobody really looks too terribly out of whack this week, which should be expected, considering the saccharine slate of cupcakes devoured by the conference. The only running back that might have looked like a boom-or-bust prospect in week two would be Auburn's Cameron Artis-Payne, who was well under 50%, despite averaging nearly five and a half yards per carry.

Cumulative after week 2:

Team Player Games Total # Att Successful Att Success Rate Yards Gained Yards Per Carry
Alabama T.J. Yeldon 1 17 10 58.8% 75 4.4
Alabama Jalston Fowler 1 2 0 0.0% 1 0.5
Alabama Dee Hart 1 5 1 20.0% 15 3.0
Alabama Altee Tenpenny 1 6 2 33.3% 24 4.0
Alabama Derrick Henry 1 2 0 0.0% -3 -1.5
Arkansas Jonathan Williams 2 35 24 68.6% 277 7.9
Arkansas Alex Collins 2 46 28 60.9% 309 6.7
Auburn Corey Grant 2 16 13 81.3% 193 12.1
Auburn Cameron Artis-Payne 2 29 18 62.1% 154 5.3
Auburn Tre Mason 2 30 18 60.0% 167 5.6
LSU Alfred Blue 2 22 10 45.5% 97 4.4
LSU Terrence Magee 2 17 6 35.3% 102 6.0
LSU Jeremey Hill 1 6 4 66.7% 65 10.8
Ole Miss Jeff Scott 2 16 9 56.3% 156 9.8
Miss St LaDarius Perkins 1 16 4 25.0% 50 3.1
Texas A&M Ben Malena 2 22 18 81.8% 179 8.1
Texas A&M Tra Carson 2 23 21 91.3% 127 5.5
Florida Mack Brown 2 35 18 51.4% 131 3.7
Georgia Todd Gurley 2 42 23 54.8% 301 7.2
Georgia Keith Marshall 2 23 10 43.5% 101 4.4
Kentucky Raymond Sanders 2 20 11 55.0% 137 6.9
Missouri Henry Josey 2 23 15 65.2% 137 6.0
South Carolina Mike Davis 2 28 15 53.6% 264 9.4
Tennessee Rajion Neal 2 31 26 83.9% 205 6.6
Vanderbilt Wesley Tate 2 22 9 40.9% 56 2.5

Again, it's a bit difficult to make any kind of legitimate analysis on the cumulative numbers because the strength of schedules among the teams is so disparate at this point. Hopefully, things should start to come in a bit clearer after week three, when we start to get into the meat of conference play.

Previous Weeks:

Week 1

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