TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Following the Iron Bowl loss to Auburn, many fans questioned why Alabama football didn’t gives its running backs more carries in the game.
Between the three of them, Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs combined for 18 carries. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was credited with 18 rushing attempts.
Harris averaged 8.5 yards per carry against the Tigers, and sparked Alabama’s lone scoring drive of the second half. Harris responded to the talk of him needing more carries on Saturday.
“I’m just here to do whatever’s best for the team,” Harris said. “A part of that is trusting in the coaches, trusting in the game plan they have set up, so I don’t think anything about that. Whatever the coaches think is best for this team, that’s what they’re going to do and it’s our job as players to believe in them, trust in them and believe that they have the best interest of the whole team at heart. So, there’s really no response to that at all.”
Harris almost reached the 1,000-yard mark (906 rushing yards) despite only averaging a shade over 9 carries per game this year. Harris’ low number of carries is even more perplexing when considering how productive he was. Harris led the SEC and ranked eighth in the country with 8.2 yards per carry.
He scored a touchdown every 10 touches (11 touchdowns on the season).
No one averaged more yards after contact, per carry than Alabama's Damien Harris this season. pic.twitter.com/sfwgRY53QQ
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 15, 2017
Still, Harris isn’t questioning the decisions of Alabama coach Nick Saban, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll or others on the staff.
He leaves the second-guessing to fans and those outside of the Mal Moore Athletic Complex.
“It’s not hard not to think that way because, like I said, when you have the trust and the faith and the belief that the coaches are going to do whatever’s best for our team, then it’s not really hard to not question what’s going on,” Harris said. “It doesn’t really matter what people think, who should get the ball, what we should run on offense. I mean no offense, but I think Coach Saban knows what he’s doing, he’s been here building this for a while and he’s had a lot of success. So, I think that what he says is probably what’s best for this team, and I guess we’ll just go from there.”
Alabama football earned the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff. It will be the Crimson Tide’s fourth appearance in the playoff’s four-year history. Alabama will face No. 1 Clemson on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl semifinal (8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN). No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia will meet in the Rose Bowl semifinal (5 p.m. ET, ESPN) earlier that day.