Through four games, Harris is first in the SEC with an average of 8.1 yards per carry, is tied for first with six rushing touchdowns and has run for 309 yards on just 38 carries.
"He's had good performance, good production, he's been very consistent in his play," Tide coach Nick Saban said. "I really like the roles that these guys have played at running back and embraced and been very productive in all regards. ... Damien has been our most productive guy so far. He practices well. He's a good receiver. He's a good blocker. So he plays well without the ball, which probably goes unnoticed by most people but is very important to the rest of the offense."
If you’ve been around RBR very much over the last year, you’ve probably seen me throw in support for Damien Harris any chance I get. With Bo Scarbrough and Jalen Hurts eating up most of the headlines, Harris has quietly been the 2nd most efficient running back (behind Eddie Lacy) in the Nick Saban era... And if you take out his freshman year woes in mop up duty, he’s been THE most efficient.
When Nick Saban praises a running back for the things he does off the ball, you know his heart has been won over.
Chad Kelly's gone and so is Hugh Freeze, yet the Ole Miss air raid continues.
It'll bring the nation's No. 4 passing attack to Bryant-Denny Stadium at 8 p.m. CT Saturday with a few different principles. The Rebels, led by QB Shea Patterson, averaged 427.0 passing yards in the first three games of the season.
Alabama's secondary most certainly noticed.
"To be honest with you, we do get a lot more excited when we think they're going to pass the ball," safety Hootie Jones said. "But at the same time, the D-line, they're a little pissed off because they want them to run the ball so they can stop it."
Check out the Ole Miss offensive preview here at RBR later this morning for more info on the Rebel passing attack. TL;DR version: they pass A LOT. like nearly leading the nation in volume despite only playing 3 games, compared to many teams having played 4.
CSU was a big test for the secondary against a prolific passing attack. This game will be even more so. If the defensive backs come out of this one on top, that will be another big check mark on this teams’ resume.
-- The short-term injuries from the early season are not a problem at this point. Everyone appeared to be healthy and participating in the drills.
-- Outside linebacker Ben Davis was wearing the No. 3 scout team jersey of Will linebacker DeMarquis Gates. Defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis was also in the No. 3.
-- The Alabama defense played more base defense than normal against Vanderbilt. That will certainly change with Ole Miss' spread attack coming.
-- Minkah Fitzpatrick remains the nickel and Tony Brown the dime when the Tide goes to the 6-DB dime formation. It will also mean a busier afternoon for Hootie Jones since Fitzpatrick plays his safety spot when Alabama is in the 3-4 base defense.
-- Da'Ron Payne jumped offside on a drill testing the defensive line's discipline on a hard count. Junior Isaiah Buggs did chirped a little as a result.
-- There really wasn't a whole lot new or different otherwise. That's typically good news for a team in late September.
No major news from Al.com’s daily practice recap. Ben Davis being down on the scout team continues to be a theme. It’s looking more and more likely that we don’t see him at all this year.
No news is good news. I will stand by that to my death bed.
Some usual names paced the group of former Alabama players in the NFL, as New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram led all players in terms of yards of total offense. Ingram ran for 56 yards on 14 carries and turned two receptions into 30 yards.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was just shy of another 100-yard game against the Detroit Lions. The seventh-year wideout caught seven passes for 91 receiving yards.
New York Giants safety Landon Collins registered the most tackles with nine, while Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley led his team with eight tackles in London. Washington Redskins rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen posted a pair of sacks.
Six of the 39 players on active rosters were inactive -- Reuben Foster, T.J. Yeldon, Marcell Dareus, Courtney Upshaw, Ryan Kelly and Dont'a Hightower. For the first times this season, Reggie Ragland and Chance Warmack were listed as active. Warmack started at left guard for the Philadelphia Eagles, while Ragland has yet to play.
A quick update on the Tide in the NFL. Ingram, Julio, Collins, and Mosley have been consistent contributors for a while now. It’s good to see Jonathan Allen getting in on the action so early in his young career.
Over in Seattle, Eddie Lacy has yet to make an impact. Part of the issue has been the Seahawks offensive line. They’re so awful that the running game has basically been abandoned and the only offensive success is coming from Russell Wilson running for his life and making plays anyway. As such, the bruising Lacy has lost snaps to a quicker back who’s better in the passing game.
The federal government’s newly announced investigation into college basketball coaches and other figures sliding money around now has a public tip line.
If you know college sports, you’re immediately thinking what I’m thinking: That hotline is going to be absolutely barreled over by sports fans who are eager to finally sic somebody on their rivals, whether it’s “RELEVANT” or has anything to do with basketball or not.
“911, what’s my emergency? Bama’s cheatin’, that’s what.”
If you haven’t already seen it, the FBI has created a hotline for college sports. You just know there’s gonna be some good stories that come out of this one.
The link I quoted has a compilation of tweets from sports Twitter about it, and is worth a couple of moments for entertainment. Plus the first tweet in the article is from our very own RBR account.