SEC Player of the Week: Alabama RB Derrick Henry
46 carries. 271 yards. The defining player of the 2015 SEC regular season saved some of his best for last.
It's been three seasons since an SEC player took home the Heisman Trophy. It's been seven since a running back managed it. But after another definitive performance against Auburn on Saturday, Derrick Henry may be on the cusp of ending both streaks in one fell swoop.
The bruising Alabama tailback posted career highs in both carries and yards against the Tigers, totaling a whopping 46 attempts for 271 rushing yards and one touchdown -- a 25-yarder on his final carry that extended his streak of consecutive games with a rushing score to 17. Per the Tuscaloosa News, Henry set both a new Alabama record for most single-game attempts (breaking the old mark of 40 set by Johnny Musso in 1970) and a new Iron Bowl record for most rushing yards (breaking Bo Jackson's record of 256 yards, set in 1983).
For all that, this was far from Henry's most explosive performance of the season -- that honor belongs to his star turn vs. Mississippi State two weeks prior. The Tigers held him out of the end zone on his first 45 attempts, and Henry's longest run of the game went for "only" 30 yards. Questions about how well Henry's game will translate to the next level persist.
But the Auburn game nonetheless exemplified all the qualities that have made Henry an unstoppable force on this level: his unequaled power, his surprising quickness, his staggering durability, and the unrivaled consistency you get when combining all of the above. (Of those 46 carries against Auburn, the Tigers dropped him for a loss just once.) Henry doesn't have Leonard Fournette's yards-per-game numbers, or Christian McCaffrey's all-purpose yardage, or Dalvin Cook's eye-popping per-attempt figure.
But he has carried the ball 295 times, more than anyone in the FBS other than Northwestern's Justin Jackson, is still averaging better than six yards a carry, and appears to be gaining strength down the stretch run for the No. 2 team in the country and likely SEC champion. He's coming, New York.
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