Alabama's Henry rushing way into school record book
Nov. 30, 2015
Derrick Henry's career-high 271 yards rushing in a win over rival Auburn on Saturday put an exclamation point on the Alabama junior's season-long assault on the Crimson Tide record book.
The dominant performance also likely vaulted the 6-foot-3, 242-pound running back to the forefront of the Heisman Trophy race heading into this week's Southeastern Conference championship game against Florida.
Henry's performance against the Tigers was notable for several single-game, season and career reasons.
While rushing for the third-most yards in a game in Alabama history, behind only Shawn Alexander's 291 in 1996 and Bobby Humphrey's 284 in 1986, Henry did so with a school-record 46 carries — topping the previous high of 42 by Johnny Musso in 1970.
He also topped Alabama's previous season best of 1,679 yards rushing by Trent Richardson in 2011, and he now leads the country with 1,797 yards on the ground — 56 yards ahead of LSU's Leonard Fournette — for the season.
Henry is also well on pace to break Humphrey's school record for average rushing yards per game in a season. He has 149.8 per game on the ground this season after topping 200 yards for the third time in four games and the fourth time in sixth games overall.
He's rushed for more than 100 yards in all but one of the Crimson's Tide's games against Power 5 conference competition this season, doing so after having only made two previous starts in his career before this year.
"The big thing that he always wants to do is everything that he can do to help the team," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "He's done a really good job of that all year, whether he's had the ball or he hasn't had the ball."
The Crimson Tide hope to play three more games this season, the SEC championship game along with the national semifinals and championship game. That puts Henry, who leads the country with 22 rushing touchdowns this season — 36 for his career — well within reach of Mark Ingram's school record of 42 from 2008-10.
Some other notable statistical achievements and areas to watch entering college football's championship week:
COMEBACK GOFF: California quarterback Jared Goff is no stranger to topping 500 yards passing in a game, having done so twice entering this season. The junior, however, saved his best — a school-record 542 yards passing — for Saturday, when he led the Bears back from 21 points down in the first half to defeat Arizona State 48-46. Goff also threw five touchdowns in the game to reach 90 for his career, tied for fourth all-time in the Pac-12 Conference.
AIR WATCH: Goff's 542 yards passing were the most in the country for the week, and his 4,252 yards passing for the season is a Cal school record. Despite his success, however, Goff is only fourth in the country in passing yardage — behind Bowling Green's Matt Johnson (4,465), Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes (4,283) and Washington State's Luke Falk (4,266).
HURRICANE KEYARRIS: Tulsa wide receiver Keyarris Garrett might be overlooked nationally, but the 6-foot-4, 221-pound senior continued to show why he's the class of the American Athletic Conference in a 45-34 win at Tulane. Garrett had 10 catches for 216 yards in the win, and he now leads the country with 1,451 yards receiving for the season.
FRESH LONGHORN: Texas running back Chris Warren III had only 18 carries for 88 yards on the season before being pressed into action because of injuries in a 48-45 loss to Texas Tech. The freshman responded to his newfound lead role by finishing with 25 carries for 276 yards — the most in the nation for the week — and four touchdowns.
EXTRA POINTS: Warren's 91-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the fourth longest in Texas school history ... After holding Auburn to 91 yards rushing on 37 carries, Alabama leads the nation by allowing an average of only 78.9 rushing yards per game ... Stanford kicker Conrad Ukropina made the 45-yard field goal to defeat Notre Dame on Saturday night, and the senior is now tied for sixth nationally in field goal percentage — having made 15 of 17 (88.2 percent) of his kicks this season.