Derrick Henry lifts up Alabama's offense
Running back Derrick Henry provided the greatest impact in Alabama’s decisive victory over Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Needing only 13 carries to do all of his damage, Henry racked up 147 yards, with three TDs and a dominant 11.3 yards per attempt average, en route to a +2.3 PFF grade for the game. (The guys blocking up front for him deserve some credit, too: C Ryan Kelly led the Crimson Tide with a +4.6 grade, while RG Alphonse Taylor earned an impressive +2.8 and TE O.J. Howard recorded a +3.3 largely on the strength of his run blocking.)
We recently highlighted the 25 breakout players to watch for the 2015 season and Henry can be found headlining that list with an impressive 82.1 overall PFF rating. Alabama’s multiple package, true to the NFL, pro-style/spread/2-back scheme opened lanes for Henry to operate, ultimately leading to touchdown runs of 37, 56, and two yards.
Possessing fullback-size (6-3, 242 yards) and a 4.54 40-speed, a 61.6 elusive rating from 2014 defines the difficulty in bringing Henry to the ground, and he posted an outstanding 181.5 elusive rating against the Badgers. While the Crimson Tide are still undecided at quarterback, the backfield is positively stacked with Henry, Kenyan Drake, and true-freshman phenom Damien Harris.
As long as a quarterback ultimately emerges from Bama’s variety of talented options — Jake Coker, Cooper Bateman and Alec Morris — Derrick Henry could lead the Crimson Tide in a return to the College Football Playoff.