With No. 1 Alabama struggling to pick up yards against a tough Ole Miss defense, running back TJ Yeldon gave not only his team a boost but also his Heisman campaign.
Alabama beat No. 21 Ole Miss 25-0 in a game that was just 9-0 at the half. TJ Yeldon is a huge reason why that game wasn't an even a bigger defensive struggle.
The sophomore back has picked up 17 carries for 121 yards. That is good for a whopping 7.1 yards per carry. He also had a touchdown from this 68-yard spin and sprint:
Excluding that carry, Yeldon gained 53 yards at an average of 3.3 per carry. That is still solid considering we've subtracted his longest carry, and yards were at a premium in this game.
Alabama had picked up just 345 total yards entering the fourth quarter, and Yeldon was done picking up his yards at that point. Quarterback AJ McCarron completed 25-of-32 passes and did so for just 180 yards—three of those completions and 16 of those yards have gone to Yeldon by the way.
Entering this game with 49 carries for 273 yards and two touchdowns, Yeldon has been used sparingly so far this season. However, that is likely to change as Alabama's schedule gets more difficult.
When he's needed, Yeldon has proven the Crimson Tide can count on him. He had 25 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown in Alabama's thriller against Texas A&M earlier in the year.
Yeldon's performance against Ole Miss should be considered a sign of things to come as we move further into the SEC schedule.
Playing that kind of role on the nation's No. 1 team is going to put Yeldon in the thick of the Heisman race all year.