In recent weeks, Alabama Football has made it a point to establish the running game. This philosophical approach has coincided with the Bama offense seemingly finding its identity and beginning to approach its potential.
The Alabama offense has scored 62 points in its last six quarters, including an impressive seven rushing touchdowns. The Crimson Tide has also maintained an eerily consistent 2:1 run-to-pass ratio over its last three games (42-21 against Arkansas, 42-21 against Tennessee, 46-23 against LSU).
Bama has established the run in different ways throughout this stretch. This has made the offense unpredictable and kept opposing defenses off balance.
In the traditional ground game, senior Jase McClellan has been the focal point, and he led the Tide with 16 carries and 83 yards against Arkansas.
However, we also saw early doses of Roydell Williams, Jam Miller, and Justice Haynes in that game. The trio combined for 119 yards on 13 carries in one of the best all-around games for the Bama running back room.
Against Tennessee, Alabama went with a pared-down rotation. McClellan carried the load with 27 carries, and was spelled briefly by only Roydell Williams. Quarterback Jalen Milroe also proved to be a factor in the run game for the first time in several weeks.
Under the lights against LSU, Milroe had his breakout game as a runner, going for 155 yards and four scores on 20 attempts. With Milroe drawing a lot of attention, the trio of McClellan, Williams, and Miller were also effective, going for 136 yards on 24 carries of their own.
With Jalen Milroe now presumably leading the way and a deep rotation of running backs, Alabama Football is expected to continue to lean on the ground game.
With so many viable options, it will be fascinating to watch how Tommy Rees chooses to coordinate the run game against Kentucky this week. Smashmouth football has returned to Tuscaloosa, and it’s paying dividends for the Crimson Tide.