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SEC Running Back Success Rates | Week Eight

Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven

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

On to the numbers...


Player Team Total ATT Successful ATT Success Rate Gained AVG
Trent Richardson Alabama 17 10 59% 77 4.5
Eddie Lacy Alabama 7 3 43% 46 6.6
Jalston Fowler Alabama 9 1 11% 27 3.0
Ronnie Wingo Arkansas 3 1 33% 6 2.0
Michael Dyer Auburn 12 4 33% 60 5.0
Onterio McCalebb Auburn 3 3 100% 32 10.7
Michael Ford LSU 12 7 58% 82 6.8
Tauren Poole Tennessee 19 6 32% 67 3.5

This was pretty much the boringest week of numbers so far.  Since we're no longer keeping track of Kentucky, Ole Miss, or Vandy and Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi State all had the week off, there weren't a lot of carries to tally.  The good news is the lack of quantity also came with a lack of quality, with none of the backs topping 100 yards rushing and only three with a better than 50% success rate, one of which only carried the ball three times.

Our leader in success rate this week is technically Auburn's Onterio McCalebb, but as mentioned before he only carried the ball three times (for a 10.7 ypc clip, no less, so I'm sure Auburn fans were happy to see him heavily involved /sarcasmfont.

Of the backs that actually played on Saturday, Trent Richardson and Michael Ford were the top of the heap.  Ford had the most yardage and highest ypc average (82 and 6.8, respectively), while his 58% is only one percentage point shy of Richardson's 59%. 

Further, for all the talk about Tennessee having so much "success" against our defense on the ground, the numbers don't really bear that out.  Poole certainly rushed for more on his lonesome than most teams have managed so far, but a 3.5 ypc average and 32% success rate doesn't really say much for his efforts.  He had two 10+ yard runs early on, and considering Alabama really hasn't been giving up those big plays on the ground our perception likely outweighed reality.  If we can "give up" similar numbers to LSU's backfield, well, that would suit me just fine.


Player Team Games Total ATT Successful ATT Success Rate Gained AVG
Trent Richardson Alabama 8 149 90 60% 989 6.6
Eddie Lacey Alabama 7 58 33 57% 465 8.0
Jalston Fowler Alabama 7 47 27 57% 329 7.0
Blake Sims Alabama 4 22 10 45% 102 4.6
Ronnie Wingo, Jr. Arkansas 6 63 28 44% 290 4.6
Michael Dyer Auburn 8 159 74 47% 812 5.1
Onterio McCaleb Auburn 8 69 30 43% 387 5.6
Michael Ford LSU 8 79 41 52% 441 5.6
Spencer Ware LSU 7 128 69 54% 512 4.0
Vick Ballard Miss. State 7 105 59 56% 598 5.7
Jeff Demps Florida 6 39 16 41% 324 8.3
Chris Rainey Florida 7 103 53 51% 500 4.9
Isaiah Crowell Georgia 7 128 51 40% 608 4.8
Marcus Lattimore South Carolina 7 163 90 55% 818 5.0
Tauren Poole Tennessee 7 116 51 44% 462 4.0

It's a testament to Marcus Lattimore that he's effectively been out for two weeks and still leads the pack in total carries and Trent Richardson is just now catching him in number of successful carries. Anyway, about Trent Richardson.  He's the top of the heap as far as success rate and total yardage goes, and its pretty interesting that the next two most successful backs share the same backfield with him.  Someone give Burton Burns a raise right now.

As for everyone else, Jeff Demps is still leading the group with an 8.3 ypc average, though he hasn't had a significant carry in weeks and therefor has been immune to the regression that everyone else has faced.

LSU has the next most impressive backfield with Ford and Ware behind Alabama, and though neither one has gaudy numbers their success rate numbers are a little worrisome.  We can limit the big plays all we want, but if they are routinely getting LSU's offense into short yardage situations and we can't get off the field on defense...well, we'll worry about that next week.

Auburn's running game is...lackluster. They break off huge gains followed by strings of minimal/negative yardage, and the success rate numbers bear that out.  If either Dyer or McCalebb gets back above 50% for the season I will be shocked.

Ronnie Wingo has been a bit of a bust, and with Dennis Johnson taking over as the feature back for the Hogs I'm tempted to stop tallying him all together.  Same for Isaiah Crowell, he's got talent and shows it, but he's a true freshman and shows that, too.