Leonard Fournette is back. That’s good news for LSU and bad news for those wishing to stay on our list of the SEC’s best running backs through Week 8.
Particularly, Nick Chubb, who fell from the list, despite being on a bye week.
We broke down the best running backs in the conference so far this season:
10. DAMAREA CROCKETT, Missouri
Last week: 156 yards, 4 TDs, 29 att., 5.4 YPC
Season: 546 yards, 7 TDs, 83 att., 6.6 YPC, 78.0 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 10 (No change)
Why he’s here: Missouri’s maligned rushing attack appears to be cured, thanks in part to Crockett. The freshman has 307 yards in his last two games and three 100-yard performances in his last four outings. Crockett’s four touchdowns in Week 8 against Middle Tennessee might not have led to a Tigers win, but it does tie him with LSU’s Derrius Guice and Khari Blasingame of Vanderbilt for most among SEC running backs with seven scores on the ground.
9. KERRYON JOHNSON, Auburn
Last week: DNP
Season: 538 yards, 6 TDs, 105 att., 5.1 YPC, 89.7 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 5 (-4)
Why he’s here: Johnson’s absence extended into a second game in Week 8, dropping the Auburn running back significantly down the list. With Johnson sidelined, the Tigers turned to Stanton Truitt (78 yards, 2 TDs) to assist Kamryn Pettway out of the backfield.
8. STANLEY “BOOM” WILLIAMS, Kentucky
Last week: 99 yards, 14 att., 7.1 YPC
Season: 639 yards, 2 TDs, 90 att., 7.1 YPC, 91.3 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 8 (No change)
Why he’s here: Williams missed his third 100-yard game by 1 yard in Week 8, but Kentucky still came away with the win. The junior ranks No. 5 in the SEC in yards per game, despite deferring carries and yards to teammate Benny Snell Jr., who rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown against Mississippi State.
7. DERRIUS GUICE, LSU
Last week: 57 yards, TD, 16 att., 3.6 YPC
Season: 621 yards, 7 TDs, 78 att., 7.9 YPC, 88.7 YPC
Last week’s rank: No. 3 (-4)
Why he’s here: Guice took a back seat to teammate Fournette in Week 8, but still produced for LSU in the Tigers’ win over Ole Miss. The sophomore’s stat line included his SEC-leading seventh touchdown among conference running backs (QBs Trevor Knight of Texas A&M and Alabama’s Jalen Hurts each have nine rushing scores).
6. DAMIEN HARRIS, Alabama
Last week: 125 yards, 18 att., 6.9 YPC
Season: 697 yards, TD, 87 att., 8.0 YPC, 87.1 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 7 (+1)
Why he’s here: The only thing holding down Harris on this list is the freshman’s lack of touchdowns, having not found the end zone since Week 3 against Ole Miss. His 8.0 YPC is tops in the SEC, eking out Trayveon Williams of Texas A&M by mere percentage points and now has four games of 100-plus yards.
5. RAWLEIGH WILLIAMS III, Arkansas
Last week: 22 yards, 13 att., 1.7 YPC
Season: 807 yards, 5 TDs, 153 att., 5.3 YPC, 100.9 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 2 (-3)
Why he’s here: Just like Trayveon Williams, Rawleigh Williams III (no relation) was victim to a rough Week 8. The Arkansas sophomore still is among the SEC’s best and one of five conference tailbacks to average more than 100 yards per contest.
4. TRAYVEON WILLIAMS, Texas A&M
Last week: 23 yards, 9 att., 2.6 YPC
Season: 727 yards, 5 TDs, 91 att., 8.0 YPC, 103.9 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 1 (-3)
Why he’s here: Alabama contained Trayveon Williams in Week 8, holding the SEC’s then-leading rusher to his second-lowest total of the season. Despite the off game, the freshman is the most dominating running back in the conference when it comes to late-game heroics. His 376 yards in the fourth quarter this year is 170 more yards than the next closest tailback, Williams III of Arkansas.
3. RALPH WEBB, Vanderbilt
Last week: 125 yards, 9 att., 13.9 YPC
Season: 855 yards, 6 TDs, 164 att., 5.2 YPC, 106.9 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 4 (+1)
Why he’s here: Webb is almost a forgotten man after the recent surge of Fournette and Pettway. But the Vanderbilt junior is still quietly cobbling together a remarkable season that sees him just 224 yards’ shy of passing Zac Stacy for the Commodores’ all-time rushing mark. The SEC’s leading total rusher has three 100-yard efforts in his last four contests while leading the SEC in carries, with 11 more than Williams III, the next closest running back.
2. LEONARD FOURNETTE, LSU
Last week: 284 yards, 3 TDs, 16 att., 17.6 YPC
Season: 670 yards, 5 TDs, 83 att., 8.1 YPC, 167.5
Last week’s rank: N/A
Why he’s here: Fournette triumphantly returned from an ankle injury after a month-long absence to break the LSU single-game rushing record. As a result, the junior now sits at No. 2 on our list and will likely vault into the top spot with another bruising performance or two. Fournette doesn’t qualify yet to lead the SEC in yards per game, but would sit at No. 2 in the nation behind San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey if he had enough games under his belt.
1. KAMRYN PETTWAY, Auburn
Last week: 192 yards, 2 TDs, 27 att., 7.1 YPC
Season: 697 yards, 6 TDs, 118 att., 5.9 YPC, 116.2 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 6 (+5)
Why he’s here: The injury to teammate Kerryon Johnson has opened the door for Pettway and the Auburn freshman has barreled his way through it. Pettway has eclipsed the 100-yard plateau in four of the five games he’s played in this season, including a career-high in Week 8 against Arkansas. While Pettway isn’t the SEC’s overall rushing leader, the tailback leads the conference by 9.3 YPG over Webb.
DROPPED OFF THE LIST
Nick Chubb, Georgia
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR (NEXT 10)
Nick Chubb, Georgia
Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
Khari Blasingame, Vanderbilt
Jalen Hurd, Tennessee
Jordan Scarlett, Florida
Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
Akeem Judd, Ole Miss
Sony Michel, Georgia
Ish Witter, Missouri
Josh Jacobs, Alabama