Not fast, but furious?

For those insisting that Elijah Holyfield lacks that certain aspect of top-end speed to be considered a truly elite back, all I can say is that he must be doing something right.

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

41 responses to “Not fast, but furious?

  1. gastr1

    My take is that he doesn’t have the quick feet or elusiveness of some backs, but he makes up for it by having excellent patience and vision, and yes, being fast (as opposed to quick). And strong, duh. He is really good at deciding when to wait, when to hit the seam, and when to bounce it outside.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      It doesn’t help him that Georgia has been ridiculously spoiled at running back. They’ve had three all-pro level players come through recently, and Swift at full speed is the same kind of player. Holyfield just falls a little short of those guys, just like almost everybody else in college football does.

      Liked by 2 people

    • SlobberKnocker

      Both he and Swift consistently show patience and vision on zone plays in particular. Think back to how many times you’ve seen them “drift” then plant and turn into a seam. They are both blessed but, I believe there is certainly some credit due to McGee and Chaney.

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    • Comin' Down The Track

      … and when to straight truckstick a fool. FTFY

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  2. Uglydawg

    Rushing for a 1K season even though he shares carries with the other backs.
    Impressive!
    And he doesn’t fumble despite the scrum-mob he drags down field with him.
    I know I’d hate to be a safety having to place my body in front of that locomotive.
    A team leader and a DGD!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Uglydawg

      First word of ^ post was supposed to be “Pushing”..of course he hasn’t reached 1K yet, but it’s still obtainable with at least three games left.

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      • 904Dawg

        At least 4 games left. Maybe 5. We’ve already qualified for a bowl game this season and could possibly play that 5th game in the CFB championship game. I will be surprised if he doesn’t get to 1k yards this season with at least 4 games left to be played. He only needs to average 59 yards per game if we play 4 and just a hair more than 47 yards if we play 5.

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  3. Jack Burton

    People are hating on Holyfield? I give up

    Liked by 2 people

  4. JCDawg83

    Holyfield runs like he’s mad at everyone on the defense. I love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Derek

    To paraphrase Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: “Holyfield may be small and slow, but he’s got guts and guts is enough.” Like Holyfield Pollock and Hines and Hoage may not have jumped off the page in terms of measurables, but they played the game with heart and toughness. That’ll go a long way in my book.

    Few guys have been as tough as his dad and dad was not as gifted as a lot of the guys he took down but he just wouldn’t back down to anyone or anything.

    Dude bites both my ears off, I’m out….probably with one ear intact….

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    • Mike Cooley

      Quoting Gunny Hartman? I don’t even know who you are anymore man.

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      • Derek

        That may be the best 35 minutes of film making history! I love the Parris Island part of that movie. The second has its moments but Ermey made that movie like Jackie Gleason made Smokey and the Bandit.

        The story behind how he got that part is great btw. The helicopter gunner was supposed to be Hartman but Ermey got on as a tech adviser dead set on being cast as the already cast Hartman. He showed his chops working with the prospective recruits who were being chosen and Kubrick knew he had to make the change. Ermey said the Marine Corp didn’t teach him to be a quitter!

        Ermey’s career was made and who knows what happened to the other guy? He had the job for 8 months when Kubrick yanked it from the poor guy and gave him the gunner part instead.

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        • gastr1

          The best 35 minutes– only behind every 35 minute segment of 2001, IMO. 🙂

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          • Derek

            I hear you. I’m a big Kubrick guy but I just never got 2001. It may be that I’m just not a sci-fi fan. I don’t know, but I never really connected with that one like Paths of Glory, Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange or the Shining.

            I just didn’t get it. I probably should give it another watch.

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            • ilini84

              And, of course, Michael Herr, wrote the screenplay.

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            • ilini84

              What about Barry Lyndon?

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              • ilini84

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          • Chopdawg

            BMOAT! Only problem is, when you watch it now, flying though the starfield feels like something you’ve seen a million times before. Of course, this movie was the first time anyone had seen that effect & in 1969 I thought it was mesmerizing.

            Also, I might be the only one that liked the movie in its original uncut version. I don’t think that version is available anymore.

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        • It certainly made him a star but few recognize him as one of the copter pilots in Apocalypse now. You would have thought he would have shown him this from his earlier work as a DI to try and get the part but I agree that’s a whole different movie if anybody else is in that role.

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  6. Irwin R. Fletcher

    “Those of you”….lol, I think that may only be me. And to qualify it…I don’t know how fast he is, all I know is that I haven’t seen that break away speed and the stats start making me think that it might not be there. Is he fast? Yup. Is he strong and quick? Yup. When he eventually goes to the combine, the combination of his strength and agility measurables are going to pop.

    Of his 27 10+ yard runs, 18.5% of those have gone for 20+. That’s the lowest percentage of anyone in the country with at least 27 runs for 10+. I just don’t know how to explain it other than a hypothesis of maybe he’s just not as fast in the 40 despite being fast in the 20.

    FWIW, Swift this year is at 34.8% and last year Chubb was at 45.2%, Michel at 42.4%.

    And one other, FWIW, there was a guy in 2016 that had a similar percentage (18.3%), ran a 4.65 at the combine (so not blazing), was drafted in the 3rd round, and led the NFL in rushing last year…Kareem Hunt…so please never hear me as saying that Holyfield isn’t a great back.

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    • Russ

      Good analysis. I think Holyfield’s lower numbers on extending those 10 yard runs comes from the fact that most of his 10 yard runs are accomplished by carrying 3-4 defenders that far. When he does happen to break into the clear, he does have speed to outrun many defenders, as we saw at Florida last year (and he had a couple this year).

      He’s different from Swift, that’s for sure, but the two compliment each other well. I like having both of them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Greg

      Looked pretty dang fast on his kickoff return that was called back against Notre Dame. Love the guy, can run over you or leave you in the dust….runs pissed off, old school.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Spur 21

    Early in the year I noticed Holyfield would attack anyone in front of him. He would pass on clear path for a few additional yards and seek out someone to absolutely hammer. I love the way he runs.

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  8. Biggen

    He is a tough runner that falls forward and hits hard.

    Derrick Henry wasn’t exactly a speedster either. The man ran like Frankenstein. But no one complained about it since he was a wrecking ball.

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    • Derek

      Henry impressed with his conditioning. He had slow feet and had a lot of negative yardage plays bc of it. But against a tired defense and after his carry count hit 20, he was unstoppable. I didn’t think a kid that big, over 250lb, could be productive in the sec because of defensive speed.

      He neutralized all that by being in tremendous condition. In terms on thriving on a high carry count he reminded me of 34. Obviously the speed and explosion wasn’t there but he had that “the ball ain’t heavy” thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        It’s funny because Lacy was actually really fast. He ran a 4.54 40 at the combine. I think the fact that he was this massive 6’4″ individual made him appear slower.

        Holyfield reminds me a little more of Eddie Lacy in college, if we are doing Bama back comparisons. (watch on mute…the music is NSFW) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxSm3Hau9Ak

        BTW, …not saying Swift is a HOF, but there is just something about that speed, power and build that reminds me of how Thurman Thomas used to play the game. Thought about that when he laid the wood on that DB against Auburn to finish the run and then later ran by them…

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        • The Truth

          Agreed about Swift trucking the AU DB. His long runs are a thing of beauty, but when you get a guy with those kinds of skills who is still looking for an opportunity to punish a defense — it’s unfair. Think #7 is a speed guy just looking to get out of bounds at your own peril.

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  9. stoopnagle

    Honestly, I don’t GAS if he’s considered elite. He’s a bad-ass in my book and DGD.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Truth

    Bluto, “Not Fast, But Furious” is a top-shelf headline and describes the “New Deal” perfectly.

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  11. Hunkering Hank

    I believe he has added (or perhaps improved) his jump cut which he is using regularly to get outside. My son and I were talking about this very thing at the Aubie game. He’s got a really good jump cut now.

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  12. I love watching Elijah run. Does he have Swift’s top end speed and extra gear? No, but I’m not sure anyone currently playing on Saturdays has that either … There’s one guy at the pro level has it and he’s likely to be offensive PotY if not league MVP, TG3II. Elijah can take a run designed to go inside and get to the corner. He can also just pop the middle. Both guys love to be the ones to deliver the blow to a DB.

    He’s hard nosed just like his dad, and that’s a very good thing.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Yep, Holyfield’s toughness fits hand-in-glove with our offensive approach, and the running style is a great complement to Swift.

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  13. BMan

    I always had the feeling watching his dad fight in his prime that if he were to get in a bar fight, he’d kill someone because he wouldn’t stop if he was angry. If anyone hit him late in a match, he would hit back even later, as the bell was merely a suggestion for stopping. I saw a guy hit him low a few times in a cruiserweight match, and in return Evander hit him low so hard that the guy’s future grandchildren will be impacted. And the seconds before the Tyson fight resumed after the ear-biting, I thought was the greatest part of that fight, as Holyfield didn’t care, he was simply going to kick the guy’s ass.

    All that being said, I see elements of that when Elijah Holyfield runs. He appears to find it insulting for a DB to position himself for a tackle. And he punishes them. Guy seems like a great teammate and a hell of a runner.

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  14. Down island way

    Of the many stats that are served up for digestion, this one was reality in fall camp and will be the same in January ……..and beyond! GO DAWGS!

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  15. Macallanlover

    Absurd. He may not have the top end, breakaway speed of Herschel, or Swift for that matter, but he is fast. Being a relative term, he is fast to me, but it doesn’t mean others aren’t faster. I think given his power, he has more speed than one would expect. Must faster then Moreno, perhaps not as quick on cuts.

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