Alabama running back Damien Harris had just 30 yards on nine carries in their Peach Bowl win over Washington. The 3.3 yards-per-carry average was his lowest of the season and it was one of just three games in which he had at least eight carries but didn't top 80 yards.
No worries; Bo Scarbrough battered the Huskies for a career-high 180 yards and two scores. The performance was Scarbrough's gift to his teammate after Harris went ballistic in their September win over Ole Miss (16 carries for 144 yards and one touchdown), one that Scarbrough struggled in (seven carries for 13 yards).
True freshman Joshua Jacobs also ripped off a 25-yard run the 48-43 victory, and in the next two weeks, he led the charge in dominating wins over Kent State and Kentucky. Harris and Scarbrough (14 combined carries) watched as the youngster ran over, through and around defenders in racking up 197 yards and two touchdowns.
"Well, Joshua is a hard-working, sort of very instinctive player," Nick Saban said after the Kentucky game. "He really understands how to press the hole and make cuts. He's got quickness. He's got a little burst and acceleration. He's got good hands."
The trio rushed for a total of 2,416 yards and 17 scores in 2016. And they all return in 2017.
Scarbrough ranked fifth nationally in yards after contact per carry (4.8), and Jacobs was right behind him at seventh with 4.6 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Scarbrough also ranked third in carries per missed tackle forced with 3.1, while Jacobs, again, was right behind him at sixth with 3.3. Harris, meanwhile, averaged more yards per carry than both (7.2) and had more 100-yard games (four) than the others combined (three).
As Bo Scarbrough receives Heisman hype, it's easy for Jacobs — who, per Alabama freshmen rules, was not allowed to speak to the media last season and largely flew under the radar most of the season — and Harris — who was slowed by a foot injury this spring — to get lost in the shuffle.
Don't worry; it won't take long for the Tide's three-headed monster to remind everyone why they form the best backfield in college football.