Running into a crimson wall

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
3:31
PM ET
Alabama heads into Saturday's game at Ole Miss with the top-ranked run defense in the country.

Nobody has run the ball well against the Crimson Tide, and that stretches back to last season.

In fact, in Alabama's last seven games dating back to the Capital One Bowl win over Michigan State last season, the Crimson Tide have held opponents to an average of 27.3 rushing yards per game. That's a total of 191 rushing yards in seven games and just one rushing touchdown.

In four of those games, Alabama has limited opponents to 17 rushing yards or fewer and held Michigan State and Kent State to negative rushing yardage. Penn State is the only team in that seven-game stretch to rush for 100 yards. The Nittany Lions had 107 in the second week this season.

Over the last 53 games dating back to the 2007 season, only one player has rushed for 100 yards against Alabama's defense. Tennessee's Tauren Poole had 117 yards against the Tide last season.

While Alabama's defense has completely shut down the run in its last seven games, the Crimson Tide have piled up the rushing yards on offense. In that same seven-game span, they're averaging 225.2 yards per game on the ground and 5.7 yards per carry. They've rushed for a total of 1,577 yards in their last seven games and 24 touchdowns.

It doesn't take a football genius to figure out that when you're rushing for nearly 200 yards more per game than you're giving up on the ground that you're going to win a lot of games.

And while everybody's trying to figure out how to beat Alabama, it's probably no coincidence that it was closer to being the other way around in the Crimson Tide's three losses last season. They gave up an average of 147.7 rushing yards in those three losses, while managing just 60 yards per game themselves on the ground.

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