Alabama Running Back T.J. Yeldon Makes Heisman Push Against Ole Miss

By Nicholas Crimarco
T.J. Yeldon
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

When you look at the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy, they all have one thing in common: they are all quarterbacks. There is the defending winner Johnny Manziel, Oregon‘s Marcus Mariota, Lousiville‘s Teddy Bridgewater, Clemson‘s Tahj Boyd and Florida State‘s Jameis Winston.

There are a bunch of talented running backs in college, but none of them get the publicity that the QBs do. Georgia‘s Todd Gurley, Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas, Wisconsin‘s Melvin Gordon and South Carolina‘s Mike Davis are carrying their teams and not getting mentioned.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have had their struggles this year on offense. Quarterback A.J. McCarron was able to match Manziel when they met in the second game of the season, but hasn’t had another game close to that. The defending BCS Champions have looked beatable at times this year and going into their game against Ole Miss, the Tide was on upset alert.

McCarron had another pedestrian effort, going 25 for 32 with 180 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. If you take away the game vs. Texas A&M, McCarron has gone a combined 55-for-84 with 548 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. That kind of effort from your QB week after week isn’t going to be good enough to make it through the SEC and into the National Title Game.

Good thing for Alabama that they have T.J. Yeldon to take over the game when they need him. With only a 9-0 lead in the third quarter, Yeldon broke off a 68-yard TD run to put the Tide up 16-0. He finished the game with 17 carries for 121 yards and that long TD.

If Alabama doesn’t get better play out of McCarron, Yeldon will have to put up Heisman numbers the rest of the way to give them a chance to three-peat.

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