The SEC hit the ground running in Week 1 with several enormous performances — and not just by guys named Nick Chubb.
The conference saw four players eclipse the 100-yard mark (and one go for more than 200). Another six running backs were within 7 yards of hitting triple digits. That comes despite the fact that SEC running backs combined for 12 touchdowns all weekend.
A breakdown of where the running backs in the SEC stand after the first week of the season.
1. NICK CHUBB, Georgia
Last week: 222 yards, 2 touchdowns, 32 attempts, 6.94 yards per carry vs. North Carolina
Why he’s here: Chubb isn’t just here, he’s fully returned with a vengeance from the knee injury that cost him the second half of the 2015 season. He rushed 32 times, 1 short of his career high, and finished with 222 yards. That was the junior’s second-best individual performance of his career. Odd stat: Despite rushing for more than 2,500 career yards, Chubb never has scored more than twice in a game, scoring a pair of touchdowns in eight of his 20 career games.
2. DAMIEN HARRIS, Alabama
Last week: 138 yards, 9 ATT, 15.33 YPC vs. Southern California
Why he’s here: Harris gets the nod over Leonard Fournette. He tied his LSU counterpart with 138 rushing yards, good for second in the SEC during the opening weekend. The Alabama running back averaged 15.33 yards on 9 carries in his first start since replacing Heisman-winning teammate Derrick Henry.
3. LEONARD FOURNETTE, LSU
Last week: 138 yards, 23 ATT, 6.0 YPC vs. Wisconsin
Why he’s here: Wisconsin kept the junior out of the end zone for the first time since the LSU running back faced Ole Miss in Week 11 of last year. That was the only time in 2015 that Fournette failed to score a touchdown. Fournette still barreled his way to 138 yards on 23 carries to pace the Tigers.
4. JALEN HURD, Tennessee
Last week: 110 yards, TD, 28 ATT, 3.93 YPC vs. Appalachian State
Why he’s here: Hurd joined Chubb as the only SEC running backs to eclipse 100 yards and score a touchdown. The Tennessee running back earned his score the hard way, pouncing on a fumble in the end zone during overtime to clinch the victory against Appalachian State.
5. RAWLEIGH WILLIAMS III, Arkansas
Last week: 96 yards, TD, 24 ATT, 4.0 YPC vs. Louisiana Tech
Why he’s here: Lost in the blur of Chubb’s return from a devastating injury was the performance by Williams III. He came back from a neck injury that cost him most of his freshman year at Arkansas. The Razorbacks sophomore rushed for 96 yards and scored in his first start as the featured back.
6. KERRYON JOHNSON, Auburn
Last week: 94 yards, TD, 23 ATT, 4.09 YPC vs. Clemson
Why he’s here: Johnson rushed for a career-high 94 yards against Clemson, 84 of which came in the second half. It was Johnson’s late score with 3:22 remaining that pulled Auburn within a touchdown of the defending College Football Playoff runners-up.
7. RALPH WEBB, Vanderbilt
Last week: 97 yards, 20 ATT, 4.85 YPC vs. South Carolina
Why he’s here: Webb is still the main man at Vanderbilt. Redshirt-sophomore running back Khari Blasingame (68 rushing yards) punched in the Commodores’ only touchdown in their Week 1 loss to South Carolina. Webb tallied 97 yards, falling short of his sixth-career 100-yard effort. Webb has rushed for between 95 and 99 yards in a game five times in what is now his third season in Nashville, Tenn.
8. KEITH FORD, Texas A&M
Last week: 65 yards, TD, 14 ATT, 4.64 YPC vs. UCLA
Why he’s here: Teammate Trayveon Williams accrued more yards on the ground than Ford, even if 42 of Williams’ 94 yards came on 1 carry. But it was Ford who found the end zone in Texas A&M’s upset win against UCLA in Week 1. Ford barreled his way to 65 yards on 14 carries.
9. STANLEY “BOOM” WILLIAMS, Kentucky
Last week: 94 yards, 13 ATT, 7.23 YPC vs. Southern Mississippi
Why he’s here: Kentucky’s offense came alive (before collapsing) against Southern Mississippi. Though he didn’t score a touchdown, Williams was a catalyst for the Wildcats offense courtesy of 94 yards rushing. The junior accounted for 13 carries for a Kentucky squad that managed 50 plays from scrimmage.
10. BRIAN HERRIEN, Georgia
Last week: 59 yards, TD, 7 ATT, 8.43 YPC vs. North Carolina
Why he’s here: Georgia already had a wealth of talent in the backfield with Chubb and Sony Michel. Michel is recovering from a broken left forearm sustained this summer. Herrien, who had a solid game against the Tar Heels, makes the Bulldogs even more dangerous. The freshman scored a touchdown on his first carry, en route to a 59-yard afternoon. He might not last long on this list, but Georgia has to be content with the effort and depth of its running backs.