Alabama Counting On Running Back As Position Of Strength

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Whoever emerges as Alabama's starting quarterback has a built-in safety net in the backfield.

When in doubt, the second-ranked Crimson Tide's Jake Coker or Blake Sims can always hand off. Alabama features a strong group of tailbacks in T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake.

That trio once again gives Alabama an enviable backfield when the season opens Saturday against West Virginia in the Georgia Dome.

Tide coach Nick Saban says all three "are guys we definitely want involved in the game that have playmaking ability."

Yeldon leads the way after becoming the only Tide player to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.

Henry had his coming-out party in the Sugar Bowl and Drake has averaged 7.3 yards per carry the past two years.

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