It took an FBS player 15 years to break the NCAA single-game rushing record, and just one week to top it.
Last week against Nebraska, Wisconsin junior running back Melvin Gordon rushed for 408 yards, breaking LaDainian Tomlinson’s record (406 yards) set against the University of Texas-El Paso in 1999.
With 12:16 left in the fourth quarter in the Sooners’ 44-7 blowout win against the Kansas Jayhawks, Oklahoma freshman running back Samaje Perine broke Gordon’s record on a 42-yard run — his 34th carry of the day — for a total of 427 yards.
Much of Perine’s productivity was off a game plan adjustment, as rain was a factor and the Sooners were without two of their top receivers, Sterling Shepard and Blake Bell.
Given the record came off a blowout against a Kansas team that is 3-8 overall and ranks 98th in the nation in points against, it was nationally received as less climactic than Gordon’s run. But another record was broken today that shows how explosive the freshman has been.
Before Perine’s 34th carry of the day, he amassed 378 yards to tie Iowa State Cyclones’ Troy Davis’ record for the best single-game rushing performance in the history of the Big 12 Conference. Davis’s performance record occurred on Sept. 28, 1996 against Missouri, and earned him the 1996 Big 12 Player of the Year Award.
Perine tops the list for most rushing yards in a game in FBS History at 427, followed by Melvin Gordon at 408 yards. LaDainian Tomlinson comes in at third with 406. Kansas Jayhawks’ “Tuxedo” Tony Sands (1991) is fourth with 396, and San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk (1991) is fifth at 386 yards. Sands and Faulk’s records both came against the Missouri Tigers.
In true fashion, Perine received the game ball after the victory at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.
After four productive performances in Perine’s season, and at least two more years before an NFL Draft consideration, it’s safe to say the rest of the Big 12 has been put on stern notice.
Melvin Gordon still gets the credit for being the fastest running back in FBS history to reach 2,000 rushing yards in a single-season, at 241-carries.
*Section Photo credit to Brett Deering, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports.