Ranking the top 10 SEC running backs after Week 2
Outside of our top four from Week 1, there was quite a bit of change in our running back rankings.
In Week 2, for example, Auburn RB Kam Martin (No. 6 last week) didn’t record a single carry as the Tigers fell to Clemson.
Meanwhile, though, the top of the list stayed very much the same, with the best runners from opening weekend turning in strong performances.
Heading into Week 3, here’s how our top-10 list of SEC running backs looks:
10. Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
QB Nick Fitzgerald is the leader of the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, but that doesn’t mean Williams can’t still be one of the SEC’s best runners.
In fact, Mississippi State should consider giving him more carries, as he can be a nice change of pace from Fitzgerald and save the quarterback a few hits every game.
This week: 9 carries, 107 yards
Season: 25 carries, 190 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 28 yards
9. Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt
Webb has had a bit of a slow start as a senior, but he’s still plugging away for the Commodores as they prepare for a stretch of four straight ranked opponents.
The Vandy all-time rushing leader plays best in his team’s biggest games, so win or lose, it’s fair to expect more production from Webb in the coming weeks.
This week: 13 carries, 54 yards, 1 TD
Season: 37 carries, 103 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 104 yards, 1 TD
8. Damien Harris, Alabama
Harris actually did more in Week 1 against then-No. 3 Florida State, but he wasn’t called upon quite as often against Fresno State on Saturday.
In Alabama’s loaded backfield, Harris has only touched the ball 17 times, but has made the most of his limited work. As games get tougher down the road, he should still be fresh enough to have a big impact.
This week: 6 carries, 32 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, -7 yards
Season: 15 carries, 105 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 4 yards
7. Sony Michel, Georgia
The Bulldogs picked up a huge road win at Notre Dame, thanks in large part to the efforts of Michel and fellow RB Nick Chubb.
Michel’s third-quarter touchdown gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game, and his strong running helped set up a few other Georgia scores.
This week: 13 carries, 73 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, -2 yards
Season: 29 carries, 160 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch, -2 yards
6. Benny Snell, Kentucky
After injuring his ribs on the Wildcats’ first drive, Snell showed great toughness by returning to the game and putting up huge numbers.
The Wildcats needed every single one of his yards as they struggled to hold off a tough Eastern Kentucky squad 27-16.
This week: 19 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 5 yards
Season: 39 carries, 170 yards, 1 TD; 3 catches, 18 yards
5. Nick Chubb, Georgia
Though Michel outshone Chubb in South Bend, Chubb had a better Week 1 and still managed to have a big impact against the Fighting Irish.
The Bulldogs’ two star running backs have proven to be one of the best duos in the country, something Georgia will need until starting QB Jacob Eason returns or backup Jake Fromm gets up to speed.
This week: 13 carries, 63 yards; 1 catch, 11 yards
Season: 28 carries, 159 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch, 11 yards
4. Damarea Crockett, Mizzou
Crockett, who was No. 3 on last week’s list, may have at least maintained his ranking if not for a bruised tailbone that limited him to only two second-half carries against South Carolina.
Still, the talented sophomore had another strong showing, despite being kept out of the end zone. If he doesn’t miss time due to the injury, expect him to continue leading a strong Mizzou rushing attack.
This week: 18 carries, 97 yards; 1 catch 6 yards
Season: 36 carries, 299 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch, 6 yards
3. Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
The Aggies struggled mightily against Nicholls State, but Williams still stood out in limited action, running for 53 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries and making a couple of catches to showcase his versatility.
This week: 11 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 14 yards
Season: 33 carries, 256 yards, 3 TDs; 2 catches, 14 yards
2. Derrius Guice, LSU
Though Guice didn’t get as much work against Chattanooga as he did against BYU, he made the most of his 15 carries, going over the 100-yard mark once again.
Last year’s SEC rushing leader is looking good. If he can stay healthy, there’s no reason to think he won’t find his way to the top of these rankings as the season progresses.
This week: 15 carries, 102 yards, 2 TDs
Season: 42 carries, 224 yards, 4 TDs; 1 catch, 4 yards
1. John Kelly, Tennessee
Kelly followed up his incredible performance against Georgia Tech with another strong effort against Indiana State.
Though he didn’t find the end zone, he still proved he’s the key to the Volunteers’ offense. Look for him to get a lot more work this weekend against Florida.
This week: 18 carries, 80 yards; 5 catches, 60 yards
Season: 37 carries, 204 yards, 4 TDs; 10 catches, 95 yards