Alabama Likely Turns to Trey Sanders as Lead Running Back For SEC Championship
The Alabama Crimson Tide may be down to its last man standing in the backfield. The Crimson Tide entered the Iron Bowl with two scholarship running backs in Brian Robinson Jr. and Trey Sanders with several players backing them up as emergency backs.
Robinson took 16 carries and three receptions in the Iron Bowl for a total of 100 yards from scrimmage but the super senior from Hillcrest High School left the game late in the contest after a 37-yard gain with an injury.
"Ya, well, he has a lower body, pulled muscle. We'll kind of see how he progresses during the course of the week and see where he's at. You know, I can't tell you any more than that right now we're just going to see how he progresses during the course of the week," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban during the SEC Championship Teleconference.
Should Robinson be unable to play in the SEC Championship for Alabama the Tide will be down to just one scholarship tailback, Trey Sanders.
Alabama has brought in linebacker Demouy Kennedy and wide receivers Christian Leary and Slade Bolden into the running back room to provide the Tide with emergency options.
Sanders took 10 carries for 23 yards and made two receptions for 12 yards against the Auburn defense on Saturday in relief of Robinson.
"Well he (Sanders) did a good job. He did a nice job with catching the ball, he did a good job with block protection especially on some critical passing situations, when they blitzed he made great pick-ups and ran the ball fairly effectively so we were pleased," said Saban.
How did Alabama get so thin so quick at the tailback position?
Alabama has been decimated at the running back position this season, initially losing sophomore Jase McClellan in the Ole Miss game and then losing sophomore Roydell Williams against New Mexico State.
Sanders himself may not be fully 100% healthy coming off a foot injury in 2019 and a brutal car accident in 2020. The redshirt sophomore has taken 50 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns while also chipping in four receptions for 51 yards while largely serving as an ancillary piece to Alabama's 2021 offense.
The Tide hasn't had 5-star freshman running back Camar Wheaton all season due to a meniscus injury.
Alabama lost speedster Keilan Robinson to the transfer portal in the spring of 2021. A player Saban often referred to as having "the juice" opted to go with Steve Sarkisian and play for Texas, through 10 games in 2021 he's carried the ball 45 times for 322 yards with three touchdowns while also making seven receptions for 57 yards for the Longhorns.
Robinson wasn't alone in the transfer portal as the Tide lost 3-star prospect Kyle Edwards in 2021 and 4-star Jerome Ford in the spring of 2020.
Tide fans can hope that Brian Robinson will recover from his lower leg muscle injury but rest assured the Tuscaloosa native will likely be less than 100% entering the SEC Championship Game.
Georgia's defense is allowing 79 yards per game rushing, good for third in the nation. Everyone has seen the struggles the Alabama offensive line has had creating holes in the running game and protecting Bryce Young.
The name of the game will be if the Alabama running game can keep the Georgia defense off balance enough to give Young an company opportunities to attack down the field.
Trey Sanders, you're the next man up.