Friends. How many of us have them?
It’s a question we must dive into every now and then, and it’s no different in the world of college football. Like Marvel superheroes, a good duo — or trio — can literally make all the difference in the world.
Now, college athletes aren’t out to right all the injustices of the universe, but a good tag team can be the difference between a win and a loss. Last week, esteemed colleague Mitch Sherman took a look at the country’s most dynamic duos, so we decided to adopt that for SEC land.
This week, we’ll be looking at the top duos or trios on offense and defense. Today, we start with the offensive backfield (quarterback and running back).
1. Alabama: QB Jalen Hurts, RB Damien Harris, RB Bo Scarbrough. This trio combined for 2,806 rushing yards last year. That was more than 11 SEC teams had the entire 2016 season. Add the fact that they totaled 26 rushing touchdowns and Hurts added another 2,780 passing yards and 23 passing touchdowns, and you just won’t find a more dangerous backfield in the SEC.
2. Georgia: QB Jacob Eason, RB Nick Chubb, RB Sony Michel. Chubb and Michel have totaled an impressive 5,835 rushing yards over the last three seasons, including 1,970 yards last year with 12 touchdowns. Eason threw for 2,430 yards and 16 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2016. As he continues to get more comfortable with Georgia’s offense, expect those passing numbers to increase this fall.
3. Auburn: QB Jarrett Stidham, RB Kamryn Pettway, RB Kerryon Johnson. Stidham hasn’t played a lick of SEC ball, but he did throw for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns in limited work at Baylor back in 2015. He didn’t run a ton with the Bears, but he should with the Tigers, and coaches around the league think he’ll be an instant star. As for the running backs, all Pettway and Johnson did was combine for 2,119 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
4. Missouri: QB Drew Lock, RB Damarea Crockett, RB Ish Witter. Lock was second in the SEC with 3,399 passing yards and tied for third with 23 touchdowns. He also had 123 rushing yards and a score, but he’s more arm than legs. Crockett was a pleasant surprise in the league with 1,062 yards, while Witter followed up with 750 yards on the ground.
5. Arkansas: QB Austin Allen, RB Devwah Whaley. This would have been a trio months ago if not for the untimely retirement of outstanding back Rawleigh Williams. But it’s not like this backfield is done for. Allen led the SEC with 3,430 passing yards and was second with 25 touchdowns. Whaley is an up-and-comer who looks poised for a 1,000-plus-yard season after his 602-yard debut as a backup last year.
Others to watch:
Texas A&M: Trayveon Williams, Keith Ford