Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Rushing for 1,000 yards in the SEC
By Chris Low
This season, there were eight 1,000-yard rushers in the SEC, which ties for the most in league history.
There’s a chance that record, which was set in 2007, could be broken in the bowl games. Mississippi State’s LaDarius Perkins has 940 yards and needs 60 more against Northwestern in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl to reach the 1,000-yard plateau.
The Alabama duo of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon made history by becoming the first two players in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. Lacy has 1,182 yards and Yeldon 1,000 yards. They’re the first two running backs in the SEC to accomplish that feat since Arkansas’ Darren McFadden and Felix Jones in 2007.
Vanderbilt’s Zac Stacy went over 1,000 yards for the second year in a row. He’s one of only nine players in the SEC over the last decade to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, joining the likes of Carnell Williams, Knowshon Moreno, McFadden and Jones.
Before Stacy showed up, Vanderbilt hadn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Jermaine Johnson rushed for 1,072 yards in 1995.
Mike Gillislee, with 1,104 yards, became Florida’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Ciatrick Faison had 1,267 yards in 2004.
And when it came to talented freshman runners, this was absolutely a season to remember in the SEC. Georgia’s Todd Gurley leads the league with 1,260 rushing yards. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel is not too far behind him with 1,181 yards and actually leads the league in rushing yards per game (98.4). He’s the first quarterback to do so since Cam Newton in 2004. Yeldon makes it three SEC freshmen with at least 1,000 yards.
To put that number in perspective, prior to this season, only nine freshmen in the history of the SEC had rushed for 1,000 yards, a list highlighted by Herschel Walker with 1,616 yards in 1980. Tennessee’s Jamal Lewis is second on that list with 1,364 yards in 1997, and Florida’s Emmitt Smith is third with 1,341 yards in 1987.
So, some pretty exclusive company.
Over the last five seasons, Alabama and Auburn lead the SEC with five 1,000-yard rushers apiece. The only year during that stretch that the Crimson Tide didn’t have a player to rush for 1,000 yards was 2010. The Tigers didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher in 2008, but have produced one each of the last four seasons. Michael Dyer and Newton both topped the 1,000-yard mark during the 2010 national championship season.
Below is a look at all of the league’s 1,000-yard rushers over the last five seasons. The only school in the league that hasn’t produced one during that stretch (not counting first-year league member Missouri) is Kentucky:
- Todd Gurley, Georgia – 1,260
- Eddie Lacy, Alabama – 1,182
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – 1,181
- Mike Gillislee, Florida – 1,104
- Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt – 1,034
- Kendial Lawrence, Missouri – 1,025
- Tre Mason, Auburn – 1,002
- T.J. Yeldon, Alabama – 1,000
- Trent Richardson, Alabama – 1,679
- Michael Dyer, Auburn – 1,242
- Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt – 1,193
- Vick Ballard, Mississippi State – 1,189
- Cam Newton, Auburn – 1,473
- Knile Davis, Arkansas – 1,322
- Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina – 1,197
- Stevan Ridley, LSU – 1,147
- Michael Dyer, Auburn – 1,093
- Tauren Poole, Tennessee – 1,034
- Mark Ingram, Alabama – 1,658
- Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State – 1,391
- Ben Tate, Auburn – 1,362
- Montario Hardesty, Tennessee – 1,345
- Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss – 1,169
- Knowshon Moreno, Georgia – 1,400
- Glen Coffee, Alabama – 1,383
- Charles Scott, LSU – 1,174