Last Updated: 2017-11-08
As Week 11 of the college football season gets underway, there are still five undefeated teams left in the country. With four of the teams coming from Power 5 conferences, the undefeated teams are looking for a way to separate themselves. One measuring stick is the ground attack from each team. But is the ground attack the best way to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff? Well, as of last week, 3 of the top 4 College Football Playoff teams were in the top 10 of rushing yards per game.
Interestingly enough, all five of the undefeated squads have had nice moments in the running game. However, a few of the teams have stood out and could legitimately be on their way to a College Football Playoff berth. In all, 4 of the 5 undefeated teams rank in the top 30 of rushing yards per game. However, one team isn’t even in the top 50 of rushing yards per game. This team is also the only one averaging less than 200 rushing yards per game.
Overall, there are six teams averaging over 300 rushing yards per game. Zero have undefeated records. However, one team that surpasses the 300-yard rushing mark should be in the Top 4 of the College Football Playoff rankings.
Here are the Five undefeated teams and where they rank in rushing yards per game.
Georgia Bulldogs – 279 Rushing YPG- No. 8: The Georgia Bulldogs come into the week with the No. 1 ranking. If the selection committee decides that the Bulldogs are still the best team in the country on Tuesday night, they will be defending the top ranking for the second Saturday in a row. The Bulldogs have a freshman quarterback Jake Fromm. They also won a game with seven pass attempts. The Bulldogs are averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Opponents have sacked the Bulldogs’ QBs 9 times for 46 yards. Meaning, the offense rarely loses yards and plays ahead of the chains. The Bulldogs have scored 26 rushing touchdowns. They also average over 36 points per game this season. In all, the offense has scored 42 offensive touchdowns. The Bulldogs seem to have the best running back duo in college football. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Nick Chubb and Sony Michel surpass the 1,000-yard mark in the next two weeks.
Alabama Crimson Tide- 278 Rushing YPG- No. 9: The Alabama Crimson Tide haven’t displayed the most prolific offense. Yet, they enter the week with the No. 9 scoring offense, averaging 40.9 points per game. The Crimson Tide are No. 9 in rushing yards per game, while averaging a gaudy 6.1 yards per carry. The Crimson Tide were selected as the No. 2 team last week. They will likely remain as the No. 2 team in the country this week. Damien Harris leads the Crimson Tide with 10 rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Bo Scarbrough and Jalen Hurts have scored seven rushing touchdowns apiece. Overall, the Crimson Tide have scored 30 rushing touchdowns. They have a multiple pronged attack in the run game. Meaning, they can hit opponents with quarterback runs as well as a plethora of tailbacks. Interestingly enough, Damien Harris leads the Crimson Tide with 730 rushing yards.
Wisconsin Badgers – 245 Rushing YPG- No. 16: The Wisconsin Badgers have a clear leader when it comes to their ground attack. Freshman Jonathan Taylor has 1,368 yards and 12 touchdowns on 190 rushing attempts. He didn’t begin the year as the No. 1 running back, but quickly ascended in this crowded backfield. The Badgers have four backs averaging over five yards per carry. Overall, they don’t have an explosive offensive unit. However, they still average 36 points per game. Make no mistake, Taylor is able to score from anywhere on the field. Still, quarterback Alex Hornibrook is no threat to run the ball. Due to the schedule, the Badgers might miss out on the College Football Playoff berth if they remain undefeated.
Central Florida Golden Knights – 215 Rushing YPG – No. 27: Now, the Central Florida Golden Knights really have a prolific offense going down in 2017. They lead the nation in scoring with 48.5 points per game. They run the ball 38 times per game to produce their 215 yards per game. That equates to a 5.6 yards per carry average. The Golden Knights’ leading rusher only has 67 carries for 575 yards. Adrian Killins is averaging 8.6 yards per carry. He’s second on the team with seven rushing touchdowns. Overall, the Golden Knights have 27 rushing touchdowns. If they run the table in the AAC, could the Golden Knights supplant one of the Power 5 schools if they run the table?
Miami Hurricanes 173 Rushing YPG- No. 55: The Miami Hurricanes clearly have the worst rushing attack of the undefeated teams. However, they are starting to revive the running game behind the emergence of Travis Homer. The injury to Mark Walton slowed down the ground attack to a halt. Well, it came back 219 yards against the Virginia Tech Hokies. It was their best effort of the season. Their 6.3 yards per carry were better than any game since a Game 2 win over Toledo. Remember, the Hurricanes had to miss around 20 days of football due to Hurricane Irma. The Hurricanes also only have 12 rushing touchdowns. Homer leads the way with six scores. Meanwhile, quarterback Malik Rosier has the other three.
Note: A pair of one-loss teams vying for a College Football Playoff spot are in the top 25 rushing yards per game. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are at No. 5 and the Clemson Tigers have the No. 25 rushing attack in the country. The Oklahoma Sooners have the No. 28 ground attack in college football. The Washington Huskies are the only one-loss team in the PAC-12. They have the No. 40 rushing attack in college football.
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