We all know every great SEC team in recent history has had a power running game. This year, Kentucky has stepped up to the plate. Having the ability to run the ball in the SEC is key to having a successful team. Coach Stoops and the staff have brought in playmakers for the offense to have that ability. Additionally, the running backs have answered the call and stepped up their game to compete with the best.
ZERO FUMBLES THROUGH FOUR GAMES
You read that stat correctly; Kentucky running backs have not fumbled this entire season. The entire offense, along with only thirteen other teams in the entire country, has not fumbled the ball once this season (knock on wood). There are a few reasons for this statistic; Kentucky finally has a core of good running backs. We can all agree, we feel comfortable when Boom, Jojo, and Mikel have the ball. Every week the running backs practice on fumbling drills and holding on to the ball in traffic. These little drills can make or break a season. Fumbling the ball zero times through our first three SEC games is huge, and most definitely has helped in the recent wins.
NEXT MAN UP
Last week, Boom had a very poor game and Jojo stepped in and carried the team, along with contributions from Mikel. That’s what great teams do. We can credit this success to Coach Chad Scott. He has been able to bring out the most in the running backs. This season Kentucky has had a pass first mentality, but the backfield has had some big blocks along with some catches and runs. Being in the backfield doesn’t just mean running the ball, the backs have to be able to recognize blitzes and pick up much larger linebackers. When Patrick Towles has time in the pocket and throws it well, it opens up the defense to become more susceptible to the run. I would not be surprised if teams begin to play off, expecting deeper passes and allowing the running backs to break loose for some big games.
LINEMAN CHANGING THE GAME
What great running back core would be anywhere without an offensive line leading the way? The coaching staff has brought in bodies to open holes for these running backs. Boom is number four in the SEC for yards per attempt at 7.3 yards. That is an amazing stat, considering the Heisman front runner, Leonard Fournette, averages 8.6 yards. Boom Williams also has the number one longest run in the SEC. However, without a seasoned front five opening holes for these backs Kentucky may not be where they are today.
It will be interesting to see this weekend how Kentucky does without Boom Williams, IF he does not play. Will the backfield have trouble to run the ball with out the threat of three different types of running backs? Will the loss of Boom require Coach Dawson to throw the ball more often? These are all questions that I thankfully do not get paid to answer. However, I do know if Kentucky does not fumble for a fifth game in a row Coach Scott deserves a raise.