Akeem Judd recorded two straight games with over 100 yards. Should Ole Miss give Judd the ball more?
There has been a lot of emphasis in the past two weeks was put on the Ole Miss quarterback situation. The sadness in losing Chad Kelly and the joy that came with a successful Shea Patterson debut occupied the fan’s attention.
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However lost in all of that was two great games running the ball by Akeem Judd.
A look at the numbers shows that the Rebels have had a pedestrian running game all year. They are 98th in the country in rushing the ball. Coming into the Vanderbilt game Judd is the leading rusher with 656 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
However the closer you look at the numbers, you see that the lack of rushing production is not completely on Judd. As a matter of fact, one may say that he is not getting the ball enough. Let’s look at some facts and then you can decide for yourself.
There appears to be a direct correlation between Akeem Judd’s numbers and a Ole Miss victory. Whether his numbers are a result of the Rebels playing winning football or the Rebels are playing winning because of his number, it is still debatable. However the numbers are clear, a good game by Judd equals a Ole Miss win.
In the five wins by Ole Miss, Judd is averaging 15.8 rushes for 90.4 yards. That is an average of 5.84 yards a carry. That’s an entire yard more than his current average for the entire year. He doesn’t have more than 15 carries in any of the losses. Also, his 44-yard output against Florida State is the most in any loss.
The lowest yards per carry average in any victory was the five yards per carry he had during the Texas A&M game. If Judd is able to get nearly six yards per carry, Ole Miss is difficult to defeat. When he runs well we usually win.
He has three games with over 100 yards. All three were wins. He has rushed for back to back games overs 100.
Judd is currently ranked 14th in the conference in yards. He is 9th in attempted rushes. As the starting running back, his numbers are not earth shattering. However, if he had the carries of some of the top running backs in the SEC, his numbers would be far more impressive even with his current 4.86-yard per carry average.
For instance, the leading rusher in the SEC at the time of this writing was Kamryn Pettway. He has 1106 yards on 173 carries. If Judd had Pettway’s 173 carries, he would have 840 yards rushing for the year. That would make him 8th in the conference.
Rawleigh Williams III at the University of Arkansas leads the conference in rushing attempts with 192. If Judd had those carries he would be 5th in the SEC with 933 yards. Although we know the Ole Miss offense leans heavily on the pass, it makes you wonder if they increased Judd’s attempt numbers could it push the Rebels to more wins.
One more example to cite. Ole Miss will face Ralph Webb of Vanderbilt on Saturday. Webb has 935 yards on 188 carries. With the same amount of carries, Judd be just 22 yards less at 913 yards. Now I do understand that things like statistics are relative, but the numbers are interesting to play with.
The two remaining regular season games for Ole Miss are very winnable. They are games in which the running game can play a big part. Vanderbilt has a good defense but they give up 4.79 rushing yards a carry. That represents the opponent with the most yards per rush average that we have faced.
The last game of the year is the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State. They give up 4.24 yards per carry. Again, the Ole Miss running game should be able to shine. If Judd is able to run the ball as he does during the Rebels’ past victories then Ole Miss will have two more wins.