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Blog ... SEC Running Backs Are Running Strong
Foster - Moreno - Dixon
Posted Jul 3, 2008

Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno, Tennessee’s Arian Foster along with Mississippi State’s Anthony Dixon headline the Southeastern Conference’s running attack heading into 2008.

By: BE Coleman

Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno, Tennessee’s Arian Foster along with Mississippi State’s Anthony Dixon headline the Southeastern Conference’s running attack heading into 2008. This returning trio of running backs tore chunks in the turf during 2007. Each primetime runner fully expects to pick it back up this fall.

While the SEC lost the magnificent Darren McFadden, Rafael Little and Felix Jones, there is still plenty of bang for the buck from these proven running backs in 2008.

The sensational Moreno wasted no time getting into the groove with an impressive freshman season that saw him total 1,334 yards rushing. Foster who is perhaps the most underrated runner nationally finished up his junior campaign with 1,193 yards rushing and 340 yards in passing.

Dixon broke the one thousand yard barrier with a 1,066 yard effort in Starkville that saw him as only the second runner to break the mark since the 2000 campaign for the Delta ‘Dogs.

Moreno electrified his way to the SEC’s Freshman Offensive Player of 2007 with good reason. This sophomore runner may be on his way to surpassing the best runner the state of Georgia ever had and ever saw in Hershel Walker. Enough said.

Is Georgia’s Mark Richt giddy? You can bet the wife, the house and the boat that the Bulldogs coach will not hesitate to have Coordinator Mike Bobo pulling the Know-Go switch as often as possible in 2008.

If Moreno’s 102.6 yard per game rushing average that placed him second behind McFadden in 07 is not enough in credentials, there is very little that can be added when you play in the nations top super conference.

If being compared to one of, if not the very best of true runners to ever come out of Georgia, there is not much that can be added. But, Know-this-Moreno is the real deal; don’t miss a chance to see him.

Foster rode into the SEC with a noteworthy freshman performance in 2005 that saw him making numbers in such a manner as perhaps the very best all time UT runner in Chuck Webb’s 1st year. Foster starts after being thrust into the staring role during mid season that earned him Freshman All-SEC with 200 plus yard outputs.

An injury during 2006 saw Foster limited to 91 carries on the season. In 07, Foster poured it on in the Big Orange’s pass first, run second offense that saw the Vols all purpose back climb into position to become UT’s all time leading rusher in 2008.

With all of the great runners Tennessee has coached, finds this Philosophy major is among big company, wearing very big shoes. Opposing coaches knew Foster as a big bruising runner, but it was his pass catching and the YAKS that raised the eyebrows from foes and saw the opposition’s facial expressions like no other in 07.

To make things worse in 2008 for opponents is seeing Foster lining up to return kick offs. That has the opposite coach staffs grimacing with the initial thought. This four-year runner has returned some kicks quite deep in his career.

UT’s new offensive coordinator in Dave “The Spider” Clawson has made a nice living playing off of his player’s strengths. That being a lone indicator should provide some insight into what is in store for 2008.

Foster’s only goal in 2008; could be to smash his own 223-yard single game rushing effort in this final campaign while wearing the Orange, and possibly in becoming UT’s all time leading rusher. Foster is a load to handle and has the downhill thrust.

Dixon and his teammates bring questions into 08 after a tumultuous off-season that saw Sylvester Croom dismissing several key starters after seeing State turn a corner in 2007.

If Dixon is to have another fantastic season running the football will wholly depend on rebuilding and replacing several lineman who were key in 2007. State's very best offensive lineman was dismissed due to a firearms charge.

Losing Michael Brown is an issue that may be the plague that undoes the opportunity for Dixon to become a back-to-back 1000-yard runner that State fans have not seen in a few decades of play.

The sad part for Dixon may be that he is possibly all the Bulldogs now have in 2008, but knowing O-C Woody McCorvey, and I do - he is already plugging solutions in for another top conference runner; to assure Dixon has opportunities.

Somehow making a summer-time magazine cover does not suffice when you’re in the nations premier football conference’s as it’s third best returning runner. Dixon is NFL bound already, he needs some icing on his cake and a back to back 1000 yard season that put’s him on the bigger map.

Outside of Alabama’s Terry Grant and possibly Florida’s Percy Harvin find the rest of the conference’s runners should be watching this trio of runners who are staged for another season of big time -- smash mouth -- in your face rushing.

Actually, it can’t be said that Harvin is the true running back with receiving yards as his top stat in an offense that has not had any type of a feature back deep in the backfield. However he is quite noteworthy within his own speed blistering respect, just not the best yet - but he easily could.

While Moreno will not be eligible for an early departure to the next level for another season, both Foster and Dixon leave their respective schools with diplomas in hand.

2008 will have more than enough running firepower to satisfy the hardiest of smash mouth football enthusiast with this trio headlining the upcoming rushing season. –n-

Older Stories:
SEC Running Backs Are Running Strong, 7-1-2008
Blog ... Tennessee Top 10 Program Wins, 6-22-2008
Nine Conference Games Makes BCS Sense, 6-10-2008