There are 26 days till college football season, and today we focus on one of the most underrated rushing attacks in the SEC.
Derek Mason is an old school guy, and the Vanderbilt football program is built like an old school program. They’re built on playing hard-nosed defense and running the football, and they could have one of the best of each of those in the SEC this season.
And that leads us to no. 26 on the Southbound and Down College Football Countdown.
Vanderbilt Commodores had 26 rushing touchdowns last season
The Commodores averaged 164.5 rushing yards per game last season, which ranked 10th in the SEC and 77th in the country. But their 26 rushing touchdowns were the seventh most in the Southeastern Conference. They were the only team in the SEC with two running backs that rushed for double-digit touchdowns last season.
Vanderbilt’s underrated rushing attack is appropriately led by one of the SEC’s most underrated players in Ralph Webb. At 5’10, 202 pounds, Webb has been a workhorse for the Commodores. Last season he led the SEC with 250 rushing attempts. He was also fourth in the conference with 1,283 rushing yards. and tied for third in the conference with 13 rushing touchdowns.
And he doesn’t have to do it alone.
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Khari Blasingame is the thunder to Webb’s lightning. After playing inside linebacker as a freshman, he rushed for 449 yards on 97 carries as a sophomore. At 6’1, 235 pounds, Blasingame shined in the red zone. He had 10 rushing touchdowns last season, one of eight SEC running backs to rush for double-digit touchdowns last season.
Webb is moving up the all-time SEC rushing list. Georgia’s Herschel Walker is the SEC’s all-time leading rusher with 5,259 career rushing yards, which he achieved in just three seasons. Webb currently has 3,347 career rushing yards, putting him 1,912 yards behind Herschel. Webb would need to average 159.4 yards per game to break Walker’s record in the regular season.
If the Vanderbilt football team is going to improve one their 6-7 season from last season, it’s going to be their rushing attack that leads the way.