Connect with us

Alabama Football Impact Players

RB Damien Harris in midseason form, powers Tide to win over Razorbacks

damien harris running for a touchdown
Alabama RB Damien Harris (#34) races for 75-yard TD in Crimson Tide's 41-9 win over Arkansas: Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– People can keep coming with jokes and videos concerning his love for honey buns, but the pastry is now a distant memory from Damien Harris’ motivation. 

From five-star prospect to dynamic running back, Harris is in midseason form and Crimson Tide fans have taken notice during three Southeastern Conference games. After registering over 100 yards against Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, the junior from Kentucky posted 125 yards rushing with two touchdowns on nine carries in Alabama’s 41-9 win over Arkansas on homecoming. 

In case college football analysts did not appreciate his speed in meetings with both the Commodores and Aggies, Harris whipped out the jets in the Tide’s opening possession of the matchup – burning the Razorbacks’ defense for a 75-yard score (tying his season-high).  

Along with averaging 13.9 yards a carry, five of Harris’ runs went for first downs. 

He accounted for two rushes of 10 yards or more, with both coming behind offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher.

His touchdowns, on the other hand, were enabled by offensive tackles Matt Womack and Jonah Williams.

Seeing how he has not lost a yard through seven contests, second-year center Bradley Bozeman gave his back the ultimate compliment following the game. 

“He’s completely bought in,” Bozeman said of Harris. “He brings everything he has. He’s lighter this year. He plays hard and brings everything to the table.” 

A number of players poked fun at Harris last season, especially on marquee runs that he was not able to finish. However, Bozeman said the draft-eligible junior is breaking huge runs downfield. 

“He’s moving all over the place,” he said. “He’s good in pass protection. He’s smart, he fast, he’s athletic, he’s everything you can ask for. He’s just been flying down the field this year.” 

As much pain as he’s inflicted upon opponents, it’s running against the Tide’s first-team defense in practice that daily prepared Harris for a breakout showing.

Senior inside linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton referred to his teammate as ‘impressive,’ during his interview. 

“He’s taking his game to the next level,” Hamilton said of Harris. “Everybody can see it. What I felt like was I kept telling everyone when he got the 20-yard line, it’s like he got a boost. He was able to put the turbo on.” 

Behind Harris’ performances, Alabama’s offense was perfect five of five in the red zone and totaled nearly 500 yards (496, 64 plays). He now assumes the status of leading rusher as he chimes in with 625 yards and nine touchdowns on 68 attempts. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

More in Alabama Football Impact Players