San Diego State running back D.J. Pumphrey expanded his national rushing lead over the weekend, Pumphrey’s 220-yard performance against Fresno State providing a 169-yard lead over BYU’s Jamaal Williams.
Williams was just 25 yards behind Pumphrey coming into the weekend.
Pumphrey now has 1,111 yards on the season, a 185-yard average per game for the Aztecs (5-1).
Williams had just 76 yards in the Cougars’ overtime victory Saturday against Mississippi State, giving him 942 yards. Florida State running back Dalvin Cook is third with 900 yards after gaining 115 yards against Wake Forest. Ball State running back James Gilbert rushed to fourth with 854 yards after a 264-yard effort against Buffalo. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is fifth with 832 yards after gaining 144 yards against Duke.
Notably, Williams, Cook and Gilbert all have played seven games. Pumphrey, because of SDSU’s bye three weeks ago, has only played six.
Pumphrey is on pace for 2,590 yards this season (assuming the Aztecs play 14 games). That would be the second highest single-season total in NCAA history behind Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders, who rushed for 2,850 yards in 1988 (including 222 yards in the Holiday Bowl). Sanders averaged an amazing 237.5 yards per game.
Besides Sanders, only two other running backs have gained more than 2,500 yards in a season — Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon (2,587 in 2014) and Central Florida’s Kevin Smith (2,567 in 2007).
If Pumphrey maintains his average this season, the senior would finish with 6,862 career yards. That would be second in history to Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne, who gained 7,125 yards (including bowl games) from 1996-99.