The Record Meant to be Broken

The NCAA single-game rushing yards record was broken twice in 1991. 386 yards by Marshall Faulk and then 396 yards by Tony Sands later that season.

Sands’ mark stood for seven seasons before in 1999, LaDainian Tomlinson broke the record against UTEP when he ran for 406 yards.

LT’s record has since stood until last week when Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon ran for 408 yards on 25 carries.

408 yards! That should stay the record for a while right?

Wrong. It stood for one week.

Saturday, Oklahoma’s freshman running back Samaje Perine ran for 427 yards on 34 carries in the Sooners 44-7 win over Kansas.

427 yards! That’s crazy.

Perine alone outgained Kansas at slightly over a 4 to 1 ratio.

But as crazy as that mark is, two questions emerge.

How many yards could Gordon have ran for if he had played in the fourth quarter last week? And, who is going to break the record next week?

Okay, so maybe that second question is a bit of an overreaction, but lets look at these past two weeks’ performances.

Gordon’s 408 yards and four touchdowns on his 25 carries through three quarters gave him an average of 16.3 yards per carry – an equally insane statistic.

To truly put this into perspective, it took Sands 58 carries to down Faulk’s record. The 58 carries is a record that stands to this day.

Had Gordon ran five more times, keeping at a 16.3 yards per rush average, he would’ve ran for 489 yards – 62 more yards than Perine; 100 more yards than Faulk.

Gordon did run himself into the record books for a second week in a row on Saturday, as he became the fastest player to reach 2,000 yards, doing so in just 241 carries.

Not to diminish what Perine did, because 427 rushing yards is nothing to scoff at, but Kansas is a bad football team. A team that ranked 82nd in rush defense prior to Saturday’s game.

Heading into the final quarter, Perine had rushed for 378 yards and five touchdowns on 32 carries.

Perine ran the ball just twice in the fourth quarter, one for seven yards, the other going to 42 yards – the run that gave him the record.

Two fourth quarter rushes was all it took for Perine.

Two runs in the final quarter for Gordon might have kept him in the record books for longer than one week.

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