On November 22, 2014 Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine averaged 12.56 rushing yards per attempt on his way to setting a new program and NCAA record for rushing yards in a single game. It was a performance for the ages as Perine racked up 427 yards on the ground, and scored five rushing touchdowns, while leading Oklahoma to a 44-7 win on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Norman.
Perine’s 427 rushing yards bested Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon who had set the NCAA mark just a week prior with 408 yards on the ground against Nebraska. In all, he had eight rushes of 20 or more yards on the day, more than 19 FBS teams had all season entering that week, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“It really can’t — it’s still surreal,” Perine said when asked afterward how he felt. “I’m not really feeling special in any type of way. I was just looking to do what I had to do to help this team win.”
Perine’s record still stands as the top single-game rushing performance in both FBS and Oklahoma Football history.
Top Five Oklahoma Football Rushing Performances
|2.||Greg Pruitt||JR||HB||294||19||3||15.47||1971||@ Kansas State|
|4.||Billy Sims||SR||HB||282||36||1||7.83||1979||@ Missouri|
|5.||Mike Gaddis||SO||TB||274||29||3||80||9.45||1989||Oklahoma State|
Most Likely To Break The Record In 2018
As the say, records are made to be broken. Perine took just one week to break Gordon’s record, but his has stood for over four seasons now. The question at hand is, which current Sooner running back is most poised to knock Perine off the top spot?
Oklahoma will enter 2019 with its typical stable of highly talented running backs. Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks, and T.J. Pledger will get the bulk of the carries so it’s only natural to assume that one of them would be the mostly likely candidate.
Pledger, although super talented, will be the third back this fall, meaning the fewest amount of carries of the three. Sermon is the bruiser who punishes defenders but doesn’t necessarily have breakaway speed. That leaves us with Brooks as the top option.
A home run threat each time he touches the ball, Brooks ran for 1,056 yards in 2018 with an average of 8.9 yards per carry that ranked him third nationally.
In an offense that will cause defenses to focus the majority of their attention on the passing game, Brooks is extremely dangerous out of the backfield. The 5-11/209 Mansfield, Texas product finished 2018 by rushing for over 165 yards in four of last six games of regular season games.
Most Oklahoma fans would be just fine if Samaje Perine’s record stood forever. That said, if someone was going to break it then it might as well be another Sooner…and Kennedy Brooks may just fit the bill here.
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