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Alabama Running Back Success Rate: Week 4

The running game struggled in spots on Saturday, but imposed its will in the second half. How does Alabama stack up against the rest of the league?

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 3, we saw just how insane things in the SEC can be on any given Saturday. Mississippi State absolutely housed LSU. Auburn looked more than mortal against a Kansas State team made out of spare parts. Missouri lost at home to Indiana...hahaha just kidding guys, that last one didn't actually happen.


Anyways, as a refresher course for the first time reader, success rate tracks how often a running back has a "successful" run. A successful run is when a runner gains 40% of the remaining yards to go on first down, 60% on second down, and 100% on third and fourth down. A bit of a slow week in the conference with so many byes and teams playing cupcakes (looking at you, Kevin Sumlin), but there were still some admirable performances.

School Player Carries Successful Carries Yards Yards per Carry Success Rate
Alabama T.J. Yeldon 18 10 59 3.3 55.6%
Alabama Derrick Henry 20 8 111 5.6 40.0%
Alabama Kenyan Drake 4 2 15 3.8 50.0%
Alabama Tyren Jones 2 0 -1 -0.5 0.0%
Arkansas Alex Collins 15 7 79 5.3 46.7%
Arkansas Jonathan Williams 15 9 69 4.6 60.0%
Auburn Cameron Artis-Payne 22 10 63 2.9 45.5%
Florida Matt Jones 12 4 37 3.1 33.3%
Georgia Sony Michel 10 10 155 15.5 100.0%
Mississippi State Josh Robinson 16 12 197 12.3 75.0%
Missouri Russell Hansbrough 10 4 119 11.9 40.0%
Missouri Marcus Murphy 11 2 11 1.0 18.2%
South Carolina Mike Davis 17 10 82 4.8 58.8%
Vanderbilt Ralph Webb 19 10 97 5.1 52.6%

To Florida's credit, they definitely shut down Alabama's running game in the first half. I think they held them to under 10 total rushing yards. That's absurd. But then, with T.J. Yeldon nicked up (sadface.gif) Derrick Henry took the reins and did not disappoint. Leaning on him on that second half touchdown drive reminded me a lot of how the coaches would give Mark Ingram the ball and say "go win this one for us." Five touches, 44 yards, and the go-ahead touchdown seem pretty good to me. Also, I'm sure Sony Michel has become fully aware of this stat and wants to unleash hell upon any Sun Belt defense he sees. Guess he'll have fun against Georgia Tech.


1) Josh Robinson and Dak Prescott took LSU's defense behind the woodshed Saturday night in Death Valley. Mississippi State had over 300 yards rushing and, if it weren't for a backup center trying to put maximum CLANGA into this one, the score would have been more representative of the way the game was played. I'm not sold on Dan Mullen as a coach and don't know if they're a contender for the division just yet, but Robinson and Prescott are legit.

2) Seriously, there needs to be a documentary on how severely under-utilized Ralph Webb from Vanderbilt has been. The fact that he had 19 carries looks good on paper, but ONLY TEN CARRIES IN THE LAST THREE QUARTERS. OF A GAME THEY WERE DOMINATING. Look, I understand that you want to protect your best player, but at home against a ranked team you haven't beaten in years, you have to feed your beasts. Vandy lost this game for a variety of reasons, but not letting Ralph Webb eat was definitely one of them. #LetRalphEat

3) It's probably because of the wizardry of Bill Snyder and his staff, but Thursday night showed this Auburn team can be held in check. Not stopped, heavens no...but controlled. If Kansas State's best receiver could have caught a touchdown that turned into an interception and the kicker made just ONE field goal, Auburn goes home with a loss. Thing is, the Tigers play plenty of teams down the road with better athletes than K-State had, and you just know assistant coaches are already losing sleep over that game film.

Next week, the Crimson Tide will enjoy their bye week while Ole Miss enjoys a bye week in theory by taking on Memphis. What stat would you like to see me track for the rest of the SEC while we're off? Is State the real deal? (I've flip-flopped on this like three times this year) Is LSU the worst team in the SEC West? No, really. As always, thanks for reading!