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Touch Me, I'm Going to Scream...

...if you don't.

I know there's really no way we are ever going to know the rhyme and reason of the three (and sometimes more) back system we are currently using, but considering the fumble troubles of Glen Coffee, our primary back so far, and the continuing emergence of Mark Ingram, I thought it would be a good idea to start keeping track of who's getting the touches in each game. Unfortunately, Alabama doesn't keep (or at least doesn't publish) a "snaps" count, so unless one of you scamps wants to become an RBR intern and start recording the games and writing down who is in on each play and e-mailing it to us from here out, I'll just keep track of the number of carries and the percentage of overall rushes each one has from here on out.  This is basically an attempt to see who is getting the most time and who the staff trusts most in the games (which is why the snaps count would really come in handy.  I'm just saying...), and really to see if and how things shift over the course of the season. The three primary backs are Coffee, Mark Ingram, and Roy Upchurch, obviously, and I'll also be keeping a column for "other" that will include Wilson's scrambles and any rushes by backs getting some time late in the game when things are pretty comfortable (or, in at least one case so far, receiver runs).

Carriespercentchart102008_medium

From the numbers alone, Coffee is still the leader so far as carries go, and was only equalled or eclipsed in the blowout wins...at least until Ole Miss.  Going through the play by play, Coffee and Ingram were actually dead even as far as carries go in the first half, each rushing three times a piece in the 1st quarter and six times each in the 2nd quarter, and Coffee had three rushes to Ingram's one in the third quarter.  It's in the fourth quarter where things get interesting, as Coffee's only carry resulted in a lost fumble and Ingram carrying the load the rest of the way (he got seven more carries before the game was over). In Coffee's defense, he was hit in the backfield very quickly and didn't really have time to secure the ball after the hand off, but given his history (fumbliitis against Ole Miss last season saw his carries drop, and in the previous two games he had potentially devestating fumbles) it looks like the staff chose to go with the more sure handed Ingram while trying to keep the clock rolling in the waning moments of the game.  Could this mean a shift towards Ingram becoming the primary back?  Maybe so, and over the next few weeks we'll be able to follow how (and if) things change.