Return to run-heavy offense a '15 SEC trend
Football is a sport that is cyclical in schematics. In the ’70s and ’80s, the run game was king of the sport. In the ’90s, the spread offense came into vogue. After the turn of the century, the dual-threat quarterback and the uptempo offense became the flavors of the month.
Here we are heading back to the future.
In 2015, the ground attack has again come to the forefront in the Southeastern Conference. Five running backs in the conference are averaging at least 100 yards per game, with the league’s bell cow, Leonard Fournette, averaging more than 200.
This season reminds fans of the days of Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Jamal Lewis and even the Dalton-James Gang at LSU about 25 years ago.
How dominant has the SEC been?
Fournette is leading the nation in rushing at 216 yards per game. Georgia’s Nick Chubb is third at 149. Arkansas’ Alex Collins (11th) and Alabama’s Derrick Henry (24th) give the conference four of the NCAA’s top 25 rushers.
The increase in production in the run game could be due to another trend — the emergence of new quarterbacks.
Alabama has started Jacob Coker and Cooper Bateman have each started for the Crimson Tide as has Jeremy Johnson and Sean White for Auburn.
Chad Kelly is new for Ole Miss. Drew Lock got the start last week as a freshman for Missouri against South Carolina’s new signal caller Lorenzo Nunez. Florida has had Treon Harris and Will Grier have the Gators undefeated. Greyson Lambert has stepped into the starting role at Georgia.
With that much turnaround, the ground games have become very important in 2015.
Another trend in the SEC is the teams’ consideration to the fans. In five weeks, the fans have been treated to free football with five overtime games.
Tennessee dropped a double-overtime decision to Oklahoma. Kentucky topped Eastern Kentucky, Auburn beat Jacksonville State, and Texas A&M got passed Arkansas in the extra period.