Best running back performances of the last decade
Throughout history, the SEC has had some of the best running backs in all of college football. The last decade has been no different, with one Heisman winner, three different players earning All-America nods and dozens more moving onto the NFL.
Here are a few of the best performances from the SEC’s biggest star running backs over the last decade, with the players listed in chronological order.
Darren McFadden, Arkansas: In his three years at Arkansas, McFadden was unstoppable. He was an All-American in 2006 and 2007, rushing for more than 1,600 yards both seasons and topping 1,000 yards all three years on campus. Paired with Felix Jones, he formed one of the most formidable rushing tandems in college football history; the two ranked first and second, respectively, in the SEC in rushing in 2006. For his career, McFadden had 12 games with 150 yards or more and 13 multi-touchdown games on the ground.
- 34 carries, 321 yards (9.4 yards per carry), 1 TD, 1 reception, 4 yards, 1-for-1 passing, 23 yards, 1 TD (South Carolina, 2007)
- 25 carries, 218 yards (8.8 yards per carry), 2 TD (at South Carolina, 2006)
- 32 carries, 206 yards (6.4 yards per carry), 3 TD, 3-for-6 passing, 34 yards, 1 TD (at LSU, 2007)
Mark Ingram, Alabama: The first Heisman winner in Crimson Tide history had the most brilliant season in school history in 2009, setting an Alabama single-season rushing record while punching in 17 touchdowns. He was a scoring machine in his three years, posting at least 12 touchdowns each season. Ingram helped power Alabama to the 2009 national championship.
- 24 carries, 246 yards (10.3 yards per carry), 2 TD, 2 receptions, 23 yards (South Carolina, 2009)
- 28 carries, 172 yards (6.1 yards per carry), 1 TD, 3 receptions, 16 yards (at Ole Miss, 2009)
- 9 carries, 151 yards (16.8 yards per carry), 2 TD (Duke, 2010)
Trent Richardson, Alabama: After backing up and splitting carries with Ingram in his first two years, Richardson finally got a chance to shine on his own in 2011, and he sure made good on it. He produced more than 1,600 yards on the ground that year, breaking Ingram’s rushing record while posting nine of his 13 career 100-yard games. That season, he led a bruising Alabama team to its second national title in three years.
- 27 carries, 203 yards (7.5 yards per carry), 1 reception, 5 yards, 1 TD (at Auburn, 2011)
- 17 carries, 183 yards (10.8 yards per carry), 4 TD, 2 receptions, 30 yards (at Ole Miss, 2011)
- 29 carries, 181 yards (6.2 yards per carry), 2 TD, 2 receptions, 27 yards (at Florida, 2011)
Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina: There’s not a college fan out there who doesn’t wonder what could have been if Lattimore hadn’t suffered devastating knee injuries in both his sophomore and junior years, ending his football career. He still holds South Carolina’s touchdown record and had double-digit scores in all three of his seasons, serving as a workhorse in Steve Spurrier’s offense. Lattimore had 20 or more carries in 14 of his 29 career games and scored a touchdown in all but six games.
- 37 carries, 246 yards (6.6 yards per carry), 3 TD, 4 receptions, 25 yards (Navy, 2011)
- 40 carries, 212 yards (5.3 yards per carry), 3 TD, 2 receptions, 31 yards (at Florida, 2010)
- 37 carries, 182 yards (4.9 yards per carry), 2 TD, 1 reception, 16 yards (Georgia, 2010)
Todd Gurley, Georgia: Gurley’s talent is undeniable, and even in an abbreviated career he was good enough to sneak onto our list of the 25 best SEC running backs of all-time. He had a brilliant freshman year before dealing with injuries as a sophomore, then suspension and a torn ACL this past season. None of that stopped him from being a first-round pick last week. He still averaged 6.4 yards per carry for his career and scored a touchdown in all but seven of his 29 college games.
- 28 carries, 208 yards (7.4 yards per carry), 2 TD, 4 receptions, 30 yards (Tennessee, 2014)
- 15 carries, 198 yards (13.2 yards per carry), 3 TD, 100-yard kickoff return TD (Clemson, 2014)
- 25 carries, 163 yards (6.5 yards per carry), 2 TD, 2 receptions, 24 yards, 1-for-1 passing, 50 yards (Vanderbilt, 2014)
Tre Mason, Auburn: Mason will go down in history for one of the most brilliant stretches any running in SEC history has had. In his final six college games, Mason put up more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns, powering him to SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors and propelling Auburn to both an SEC championship and a BCS title game appearance.
- 46 carries, 304 yards (6.6 yards per carry), 4 TD, 1 reception, 8 yards (SEC Championship vs. Missouri, 2013; SEC Championship record for rushing yards)
- 34 carries, 195 yards (5.7 yards per carry), 1 TD, 1 reception, 42 yards, 1 TD (BCS Championship vs. Florida State, 2014)
- 12 carries, 181 yards (15.1 yards per carry), 2 TD, 1 reception, 6 yards (Alabama A&M, 2012)