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Five Plays That Defined Derrick Henry's Heisman Season

Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry

Alabama has its second Heisman Trophy winner with Saturday's announcement that Derrick Henry is the 2015 recipient. And, at a place like Alabama where old-school, smash-mouth football still carries the day, it seems only fitting that once again it's a running back that hoists the bronze trophy for the Crimson Tide.

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Related: Alabama RB Derrick Henry Wins 2015 Heisman Trophy

Henry became the 81st winner of the prestigious award, as the 6-foot-3, 242-pound junior won over fellow finalists Christian McCaffrey, Stanford's do-it-all playmaker, and Deshaun Watson, quarterback of the top-ranked Clemson Tigers. He's the second Alabama player to win, joining fellow back Mark Ingram (2009).

For Henry, who became the favorite for the coveted award when he outperformed then Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette of LSU on Nov. 7, it's been a memorable, record-breaking 2015 campaign. Here's a look at five plays that define Henry's Heisman season.

First TD of 2015

In a top-20 matchup with Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas, to open the season, Alabama found itself in a scoreless tie with the Badgers midway through the first quarter. With 6:01 remaining in the first stanza, Alabama faced a fourth-and-one from the Wisconsin 37. The Crimson Tide elected to go for it, handed the ball to Henry, and he got more than just a first down, sprinting 37 yards for the touchdown, setting the tone for the season he and the Tide would go on to have in 2015.

Gashes Georgia Between the Hedges

Facing favored, undefeated and No. 8-ranked Georgia on the road on Oct. 3, Alabama found itself in a deadlocked defensive struggle in rain-soaked conditions. But with 8:26 left in the second quarter and score tied at 3-3, Henry, who had been held to 27 yards rushing on 10 carries up to that point, got the Tide rolling with a crowd-quieting 30-yard touchdown run.

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Leaves the Bulldogs in His Dust

Henry put his deceptive speed on full display against No. 17 Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., on Nov. 14. About midway through the fourth quarter, Henry took the handoff, headed left and then proceeded to outrun the Bulldogs defense down the left sideline all the way to the the end zone. Free safety Kivon Coman, the last Bulldog who had a shot at him, had a clear angle on Henry, but the 6-foot-3, 196-pounder couldn't catch the 242-pound Henry and got a stiff arm to the face instead.


Steals Heisman Spotlight vs. Leonard Fournette

In one of the most anticipated and hyped games of the 2015 season -- No. 4 Alabama hosting No. 2 LSU and Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette on Nov. 7 -- Henry, along with the Alabama defense, stole the show. The junior running back set the tone for the evening midway through the second quarter. With Alabama up by just three and facing a first-and-10 at the LSU 42, Henry took the handoff and rambled 40 yards to the LSU 2, stiff-arming strong safety Jamal Adams multiple times along the way, to set up his own 2-yard TD run on the next play.

Caps Record-Setting Day in Iron Bowl with TD

Against rival Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 28, Henry's school-record 46th and final carry of the afternoon came with 26 seconds to play on fourth-and-one and resulted in an oh-so-fitting 25-yard TD run. The score extended Henry's streak of consecutive games with a TD to 17 and punctuated one of the most dominating individual performances in Alabama football history. The Crimson Tide workhorse finished with 271 yards rushing -- the most by an Alabama running back in a game since 1996 and the third most all-time.

— Written by Erik Stinnett, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Stinnett is an experienced college football beat writer who has been covering Alabama since 2009.