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Najee Harris will carry this Alabama team to the CFB Playoff – Roll Tide Wire

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When you look at the Alabama Crimson Tide’s offense under Nick Saban, historically, they’ve been a dominant running team who has produced many NFL caliber running backs such as Mark Ingram, Glen Coffee, Derrick Henry, and TJ Yeldon to name a few.

But since the end of the 2017 season, Alabama’s running game has taken somewhat of a backseat to Alabama’s passing game. But it’s not a shock. When you have a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa under center, it’s natural to see a team transition to more of a passing team rather than a “run first” team.

In 2017, when Jalen Hurts was still the starting quarterback, Alabama rushed for 3,509 off of 612 attempts. Less than a year later in 2018 with Tagovailoa under center, Alabama had 2,976 yards off of 571 carries. So far in 2019, Alabama only has 326 carries for 1,627 yards. That’s 1,882 less yards than the 2017 season.

Although Alabama has continued to win games with more yards coming through the air rather than on the ground, with the Crimson Tide in the position they’re in without Tagovailoa in as quarterback, the running game will no doubt be a major focus for the Crimson Tide for the rest of the season.

When Mac Jones started for Alabama against Arkansas at the end of October after Tagovailoa injured his ankle in the Tennessee game, it was the first time we truly saw what this offense was capable of regarding the rushing game, especially with Najee Harris.

Harris, who had 783 rushing yards last season, currently has 876 yards rushing so far, 425 of which have come since the first half of the Tennessee game when Tagovailoa went down. Najee was one of the players who stepped up when Tagovailoa went down.

What does this mean for the Crimson Tide?

We will no doubt see more of a traditional offense from the Crimson Tide. Although we will see Mac Jones throw several deep bombs and quick slants like he did against Arkansas, we will see this Alabama offense become more conservative and traditional, with more of a “run first” mindset.

With Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr. in the backfield, there’s no doubt this Alabama offense is more than equipped than ever to not only win games, but help their team have another chance to make the College Football Playoff.

After all, this team has a new reason to do whatever it takes to win: Tua.

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