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Alabama Running Back Success Rate: Week 1

How successful were our running backs against West Virginia?

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

That's right: RB Success Rate has returned. Running Back Success Rate is defined as the frequency with which a running back has successful runs. A successful run is when a player gains 40% of the necessary yardage on first down, 60% on second down, and 100% on third and fourth down.

I've decided that each week, I'll focus on the Alabama running backs and one other back from around the SEC. This week, it'll be none other than Georgia's Todd Gurley.

School Player Carries Successful Carries Yards Yards per Carry Success Rate
Alabama T.J. Yeldon 23 14 126 5.5 60.9%
Alabama Derrick Henry 17 10 113 6.6 58.8%
Alabama Kenyan Drake 3 1 7 2.3 33.3%
Georgia Todd Gurley 15 8 198 13.2 53.3%

I'm not sure how it looked on television, but while I was in the Georgia Dome, the running game didn't "wow" me from the stands. But hoooooly cow, look at those stats. Lane Kiffin must have tapped into something during fall camp (probably his "run the ball down their throats and dare them to stop us" instinct). That reminds me of the 2012 box scores.

A few things to note:

1) Of Derrick Henry's 10 successful carries, 3 of them came in a 5-play sequence on the same drive on which he scored his only touchdown.

2) As for Yeldon, 60.9% may not seem like he's setting the world on fire, but the sheer fact that he had 14 successful runs speaks volumes. Here lies the beauty in T.J. Yeldon: he is so dang good because he is so dang consistent. At the current rate, he'll leave the Capstone as the statistical leader in a lot of categories. Read the last two sentences again. You could've said the same exact thing about A.J. McCarron.

3) Todd Gurley is a beast. Point blank. After only four carries in the first half, he exploded on the scene in the third and fourth quarters. Of his 198 rushing yards, he gained 107 of them on three carries in the second half. Truth be told, his numbers could have been a lot scarier if he actually played the last eight minutes of Georgia's game against Clemson. I'm not here to gush over the Bulldogs, I'm just saying that any team that plays Georgis has their hands more than full with #3 in the backfield.

Do the numbers back up what you felt about the running game overall? Do you think we could do even better? Leave something in the comments. And, as always, thanks for reading.