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Alabama Running Back Success Rate: Game 5

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Despite the loss, the running game showed some promise against the Rebels. Let's see how our boys stacked up against the rest of the conference.

Joe Murphy

I must say, it was a little more depressing than usual tracking the success rate for this week. Nothing is fun after a loss, but it's always a great time to gather perspective. My father always told me that you learn more in a loss than you ever would in a win, and one thing I learned while charting the numbers was that one of our running backs is really, really good. As a refresher, the success rate tracks the frequency at which a running back has a "successful" run. A "successful" run is when a running back gains 40% of the remaining yardage on first down, 60% on second down, and 100% on third and fourth down.

School Player Carries Successful Carries Yards Yards Per Carry Success Rate
Alabama T.J. Yeldon 20 11 123 6.2 55.0%
Alabama Derrick Henry 17 7 37 2.2 41.2%
Auburn Cameron Artis-Payne 24 9 126 5.3 37.5%
Florida Matt Jones 23 10 114 5.0 43.5%
Georgia Todd Gurley 25 13 163 6.5 52.0%
Kentucky Jojo Kemp 17 13 131 7.7 76.5%
LSU Leonard Fournette 10 6 42 4.2 60.0%
Mississippi State Josh Robinson 17 9 107 6.3 52.9%
Ole Miss Jaylen Walton 11 5 39 3.5 45.5%
South Carolina Mike Davis 23 13 183 8.0 56.5%
Tennessee Jalen Hurd 10 6 39 3.9 60.0%
Tennessee Marlin Lane 10 3 22 2.2 30.0%
Texas A&M Tra Carson 11 8 59 5.4 72.7%
Vanderbilt Ralph Webb 17 8 77 4.5 47.1%

Guys...that Yeldon fella? Yeah, he can ball. Out of all our players that were banged up after the Florida game, it seems as though he got the most out of the bye week. When I was in the stadium Saturday, it did not seem like anything on offense was working. At. All. It seemed like the Rebels had 13 guys on the field at times. But, just like death and taxes, Yeldon was our most consistent player from start to finish in Oxford. It's never fun losing, but it's a little comforting knowing that you can rely on a strong running back.

Observations:

1) Let's stop and appreciate Alabama's run defense. Ole Miss only called 15 running plays for their running backs. On those plays, they gained 46 yards. Jaylen Walton couldn't go up the middle, outside, or anywhere against Alabama. Watch out for the Ole Miss offensive line going forward...it doesn't seem as if they can run block very well this year, and that could eventually come back to bite them.

2) Auburn's running game seems to be very feast or famine. I know how explosive they can be when they're clicking, but they might be clicking much less frequently this season. Cameron Artis-Payne, a great player in his own right, had the second-lowest success rate out of all qualifying running backs. When you take away his two longest runs of the night, his YPC drops to a weak 3.3. This Auburn squad has weapons all over the field, but if they aren't getting the big play, they aren't getting much.

3) In this era of the spread and quarterbacks getting all the attention, it was nice to see Jojo Kemp and Mike Davis have a duel that reminded you of when football was a much simpler time. It's horrible that the game was decided by Dylan Thompson throwing a pick six, when it was clearly Mike Davis that kept them in the game in the first place. Just two super talented players in the era of quarterbacks. After the day I had in Oxford, that might have been the most comforting sight of the night.

Are you starting to get skeptical about Mario Cristobal? Are you starting to worry about State a little bit? Can we officially say that, only by default, LSU might be the worst team in the West and still might get to 7 or 8 wins? (I answered yes to all of these questions FWIW.) As always, thanks for reading!