Only one player dropped off our list of the top running backs in the SEC through Week 11, but there was plenty of reshuffling among those that remained. The season is shaping up to be a great one for the conference’s tailbacks, as three players have reached the 1,000-yark mark already while another seven have a legitimate chance to join them in the season’s final two weeks.
We break down the SEC’s best running backs entering Week 12.
10. TRAYVEON WILLIAMS, Texas A&M
Last week vs. Ole Miss: 72 yards, 17 ATT, 4.2 YPC
Season: 876 yards, 6 TDs, 126 ATT, 7.0 YPC, 87.6 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 9 (-1)
Why he’s here: Williams has failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark in a game since blistering Tennessee for 217 yards in Week 6. The Texas A&M tailback still ranks second in the nation among freshmen, but has ceded ground to Ohio State’s Mike Weber (93.5 YPG).
9. KERRYON JOHNSON, Auburn
Last week vs. Georgia: 99 yards, TD, 22 ATT, 4.5 YPC
Season: 715 yards, 10 TDs, 147 ATT, 4.9 YPC, 79.4 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 8 (-1)
Why he’s here: It seems almost unfair that Johnson falls 1 yard shy of his third 100-yard game of the year — against a tough Georgia run defense, no less, and drops in the rankings — but such is life in the running back-rich SEC. Johnson also proved valuable with his arm, completing the first two passes of his career in Week 11 against the Bulldogs.
8. DAMAREA CROCKETT, Missouri
Last week vs. Vanderbilt: 154 yards, TD, 20 ATT, 7.7 YPC
Season: 837 yards, 9 TDs, 129 ATT, 6.5 YPC, 83.7 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 10 (+2)
Why he’s here: Crockett is a touchdown machine, and now the freshman’s yards are starting to catch up courtesy of his fourth 100-yard performance of the season. Helping that march toward 1,000 yards was a 39-yard scamper against Vanderbilt, the longest of his short career.
7. BENNY SNELL JR., Kentucky
Last week vs. Tennessee: 79 yards, 15 ATT, 5.3 YPC
Season: 854 yards, 10 TDs, 154 ATT, 5.5 YPC, 85.4 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 5 (-2)
Why he’s here: Snell continues to lead SEC running backs in touchdowns, despite being held out of the end zone in Week 11 against Tennessee. Snell now has the second-most yards ever for a Kentucky freshman. Along with teammate Stanley “Boom” Williams, the duo has combined to tie Sonny Collins and Mike Fanuzzi (1974) for the most rushing yards by a Wildcats tandem in school history.
6. RALPH WEBB, Vanderbilt
Last week vs. Missouri: 34 yards, TD, 11 ATT, 3.1 YPC
Season: 935 yards, 7 TDs, 188 ATT, 5.0 YPC, 93.5 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 4 (-2)
Why he’s here: Webb remains one of the SEC’s top workhorses with the second-most carries in the conference, but his third sub-50-yard game in the last four contests have sent his stock tumbling. It’s also slowed his ascension up the Vanderbilt leaderboard, leaving him 149 yards shy of tying Zac Stacy as the Commodores’ all-time leading rusher. He’s 6 yards from 3,000 in his career.
5. DERRIUS GUICE, LSU
Last week vs. Arkansas: 252 yards, 2 TDs, 21 ATT, 12.0 YPC
Season: 881 yards, 9 TDs, 101 ATT, 8.7 YPC, 97.9 YPG
Last week’s rank: N/R
Why he’s here: Guice apparently didn’t appreciate being dropped off our list last week. The sophomore posted the second-most rushing yards in a single game for LSU, while setting a program mark for the longest play from scrimmage with a 96-yard touchdown run.
O touchdown de 96 jardas de Derrius Guice para LSU: pic.twitter.com/tRCZ50rMKb
— NCAA Football Brasil (@CFB_Br) November 13, 2016
4. STANLEY “BOOM” WILLIAMS, Kentucky
Last week vs. Tennessee: 127 yards, TD, 16 ATT, 7.9 YPC
Season: 1,025 yards, 5 TDS, 139 ATT, 7.4 YPC, 102.5 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 6 (+2)
Why he’s here: Splitting carries with Snell doesn’t appear to affect Williams, who is now second in the SEC in rushing. Williams is now the seventh Wildcat in program history to reach the 1,000-yard mark in a season.
3. RAWLEIGH WILLIAMS III, Arkansas
Last week vs. LSU: 49 yards, 13 ATT, 3.8 YPC
Season: 1,004 yards, 7 TDs, 192 ATT, 5.2 YPC, 100.4 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 2 (-1)
Why he’s here: A pattern of inconsistency is emerging for Williams, who followed up his third 100-yard performance in the last six games by rushing for less than 50 yards the following week. This week it was LSU holding the sophomore in check. The effort, however, was enough to push him over 1,000 yards on the year — making him one of just three SEC running backs to hit the plateau.
2. LEONARD FOURNETTE, LSU
Last week vs. Arkansas: 98 yards, 3 TDs, 17 ATT, 5.8 YPC
Season: 803 yards, 8 TDs, 117 ATT, 6.9 YPC, 133.8 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 3 (+1)
Why he’s here: Fournette split carries and yards with backfield mate Derrius Guice in Week 11, but still churned out the sixth game with at least 3 touchdowns in his career — and second of 2016.
1. KAMRYN PETTWAY, Auburn
Last week vs. Georgia: DNP
Season: 1,106 yards, 7 TDs, 173 ATT, 6.4 YPC, 138.3 YPG
Last week’s rank: No. 1 (no change)
Why he’s here: We got a glimpse of how important Pettway is to the Auburn offense in Week 11 as the Tigers lost to Georgia while their star running back was sidelined with a leg injury. Despite missing his second game of the year, the sophomore continues to lead the SEC in rushing.
DROPPED OFF THE LIST
- Damien Harris, Alabama
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR (NEXT 10)
- Damien Harris, Alabama
- Nick Chubb, Georgia
- Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
- Akeem Judd, Ole Miss
- Jordan Scarlett, Florida
- Ish Witter, Missouri
- Sony Michel, Georgia
- Josh Jacobs, Alabama
- Rico Dowdle, South Carolina
- Keith Ford, Texas A&M