Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry broke the SEC single-season record for rushing touchdowns Thursday on a one-yard score with five minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter of the Cotton Bowl, per Alex Martin Smith of SEC Country.
SportsCenter shared video of Henry's 24th touchdown, which broke a tie with former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and former Auburn Tigers running back Tre Mason:
Derrick Henry. Six. Alabama is on the board. https://t.co/u1Ju0yie3A2016-1-1 02:33:34
It also helped the Crimson Tide take a 7-0 lead over the Michigan State Spartans as both teams fought for the right to play the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Prior to breaking the record, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner surpassed the 2,000-yard mark after entering the game with an SEC record 1,986 yards.
The SEC Network gave props to Henry after he secured the touchdown record:
SEC Network @SECNetwork
Take a bow, Derrick Henry! #RollTide SEC Records Set Tonight: Most Rush yards 2,000+ SEC Rushing TDs 24 https://t.co/Lzlxy9b9lv2016-1-1 02:29:53
Henry is a major reason why the Crimson Tide are playing in the CFP. The junior has scored a touchdown in every game this season and surpassed the 100-yard mark in every SEC game but one.
He was a workhorse all season, carrying the ball 339 times prior to the Cotton Bowl, including 90 attempts in the final two games of the season.
Before the game, Spartans co-defensive coordinator Mike Tressel said that hoping the carries would take a toll on Henry would be a waste of time, per Nicole Auerbach of USA Today:
It's a fact: He won't wear down. He's going to get better. So, we're going to have to be the same. … The thing about the workload is, I wish we'd played him the week right after he had consecutive 40-carry games. But with the break he's had right now, he could carry the ball 80 times and he'd be fine and he'd be strong.
Henry isn't just about the number of carries, either. His 5.9 yards per attempt rank fifth in the SEC. He is a complete running back who deserved to win the Heisman. Alabama's hopes of winning the national championship will rest on Henry's shoulders.
If history is any indication, the team's chances are good.