Ralph Webb has been one of the few consistent players on Vanderbilt’s offense this season. With 560 yards through seven games, Webb is on pace to break the school’s freshman rushing record. However, the tailback has seen a varying amount of carries, lacking touches late as the Commodores find themselves facing large deficits.

“Ralph has been a workhorse. He is a guy who you have to keep feeding,” coach Derek Mason told the Tennesseean. “He just gets better as the game goes on, and we have to continue to understand that. We need to stick to our game plan, feed the hoss and let him keep running.”

Webb has rushed for 400 yards on 77 carries in the first half of games, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. But he has just 160 yards on 45 carries (3.6 average) in the second half this season.

Webb is just 238 yards shy of Kwane Doster’s freshman record of 798 yards set in 2002. He is also on pace to rush for over 1,000 yards.

“The only thing that matters is whether those yards are making the team better,” Webb said. “Those yards need to lead to winning games. But the only way we’re going to do that is do everything better — run the ball better, pass better, catch the ball and do something with it and block better downfield.”

As Vanderbilt (2-5, 0-4 SEC) enters its matchup Saturday at Missouri (5-2, 2-1), Mason said an offensive goal for the remainder of the schedule is to give Webb more carries late into games.

“We have to continue to feed Ralph,” Mason said. “The combination of Ralph and Dallas (Rivers) can do a lot of things for us. Ralph is still the No. 1, and those other guys will get carries after that. But in our backfield, we have three backs (including Jerron Seymour) with different dimensions in their ability to run, pass (protect) and get the ball out of the backfield — which we haven’t been able to do enough.”