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Alabama Running Back Success Rate: Week 14

When you come into our place, we'll put you in yours.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There's just something different about playing your archrival. No, it's not Tennessee. It's not LSU. It's definitely not anyone else in the SEC, and even though Joe Namath hates them, it's not Georgia Tech. It has always been Auburn, and it will always be Auburn.

When you go down 33-21 at home to a team and a coach many say may be your Kryptonite, there are two options: go through the motions and let them win a revenge game on your home field, or decide that you are the better team and start playing like it. I'm not sure what Nick Saban said to the team at halftime, or even after Blake Sims' third interception. But from that moment on, the Alabama Crimson Tide showed up and, once again, refused to let anyone come into their stronghold and take what they thought was theirs. With everything on the line and still in front of them, this team drew a line in the sand. No one - not Nick Marshall, not Cameron Artis-Payne, not either of those NFL receivers they have - was getting across.

As a reminder, the Success Rate measures the frequency at which running backs have "successful" runs. A successful" run is defined as when a runner gains at least 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 19 13 127 6.7 68.4%
Alabama Derrick Henry 5 2 72 14.4 40.0%
Arkansas Jonathan Williams 13 7 72 5.5 53.8%
Arkansas Alex Collins 14 4 59 4.2 28.6%
Auburn Cameron Artis-Payne 25 10 77 3.1 40.0%
Florida Kelvin Taylor 13 4 37 2.8 30.8%
Georgia Nick Chubb 25 9 129 5.2 36.0%
Kentucky Stanley Williams 18 8 126 7.0 44.4%
LSU Leonard Fournette 19 13 146 7.7 68.4%
LSU Terrence Magee 17 6 74 4.4 35.3%
Mississippi State Ashton Shumpert 10 6 68 6.8 60.0%
Mississippi State Josh Robinson 12 4 44 3.7 33.3%
Missouri Russell Hansbrough 20 9 91 4.6 45.0%
Missouri Marcus Murphy 11 7 58 5.3 63.6%
Ole Miss Jaylen Walton 14 8 148 10.6 57.1%
South Carolina Mike Davis 12 4 39 3.3 33.3%
Tennessee Marlin Lane 16 7 51 3.2 43.8%
Vanderbilt Ralph Webb 16 7 55 3.4 43.8%

I thought we weren't seeing much of Derrick Henry, but the reason quickly became obvious: this was T.J. Yeldon's show. Derrick Henry's time is coming: hopefully he puts up ridiculous numbers next year at The Barn as we start a new streak. But that time is not now. Saturday night was about a lot of things, but the unsung hero was easily Mr. Timothy Antonio Yeldon, Jr. In what will likely be his final home game, he played like the player we all fell in love with in 2012. He was patient, he was smart, he was explosive, and he was mean. On the fourth down touchdown, Yeldon came through the line like a man possessed. Nothing was going to stop him on that play. Nothing was going to stop him that night.

Observations:

1) Congrats to LSU on (somewhat) salvaging their season by getting back to what they do best: running the ball downhill. They threw 16 passes against Ole Miss and racked up over 250 rushing yards, then proceeded to throw the ball 26 times against Alabama, including four straight in overtime. Les Miles' offensive coordinators always seem to make some questionable decisions, but Cam Cameron got it right against Texas A&M. Give it to Fournette and Magee until the defense wilts.

2) In this week's version of "How the hell does Missouri keep winning?", they pulled a Jedi mind trick on Arkansas, somehow getting the Razorbacks to only give it to Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins 27 times. Brandon Allen threw 30 passes. That is not a typo. It's just sad that Arkansas thinks they can win games that way after they've already cracked their own code. You have two of the best ten backs in the SEC. Give it to them until they vomit, wait a little bit, then give it to them again.

3) Cameron Artis-Payne came into the Iron Bowl terrorizing the SEC, but he was (relatively) held in check all night Saturday. Getting 3.1 yards per carry at a 40% success clip is about the best any defense will do against CAP for the rest of his college career. Seriously, the only other games in which he gained under 100 yards were Kansas State, Mississippi State, and Georgia. Not the worst company to have.

It's getting really hard for me to think Alabama won't absolutely take Mizzou behind the woodshed on Saturday in the Georgia Dome, but here we are. I'm not guaranteeing a win...that's just bad sportsmanship. But I will say that, from what I've seen this season, Missouri does not match up physically with Alabama. At. All. What are your predictions for the SEC Championship Game? Did anybody see Auburn going 8-4 this season? Why is Georgia so disappointing? As always, thank you for reading!