On Saturday night in Reno, Nevada, the Aztecs took on the Wolfpack and set a school rushing record 474 team yards- surpassing the 454 the Aztecs gained in 1966 against Mexico Poly. San Diego State defeated Nevada 46-16.
Donnel Pumphrey ran 26 times for 198 yards and a touchdown and moved in front of DeAngelo Williams for the no. 4 position on the all-time list of FBS rushing leaders.
Pumphrey came one step closer to becoming the NCAA’s most prolific rusher by surpassing the 6,000-yard mark late in the third quarter. He then eclipsed Williams' 6,026 yards early in the fourth. It was the first time in four games that Pumphrey played into the fourth quarter and he finished the night at 6,051 yards.
With two regular-season games left, Donnel needs 32 yards to pass Tony Dorsett; 229 for Ricky Williams and 347 for Ron Dayne's record.
While Pumphrey made his mark on the record book, Rashaad Penny had a stellar night with two touchdown runs of 40 and 72 yards. Penny had 208 yards on 10 carries!
Here is the schedule of where the remaining all-time rushing leaders stand:
Rank Player Team (seasons) Total rushing yards
1 Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (1996–1999) 6,397
2 Ricky Williams, Texas (1995–1998) 6,279
3 Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh (1973–1976) 6,082
4 Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State (2013–) 6,051
Pumphrey would have had his fifth 200-yard game of the season but the Aztecs had a holding penalty that wiped out a 40-yard run in the second half. The performance still gave him a nation-leading 1,779 yards. It is the third-highest single-season total in Aztecs history, trailing only the record 1,867 yards by Donnel in 2014 and the 1,842 yards collected by George Jones in 1995.
Very soon, Donnel will start surging in the all-time NCAA single season rushing list.
It would take a Herculean effort to come anywhere near Barry Sanders’ single season NCAA rushing record of 2628 yards, although it did include yardage from bowl games.
San Diego State looks forward to two additional regular season games against Wyoming and Colorado State. As the West Division champs, the Aztecs will appear in the Mountain West Championship, and will then appear in a yet-to-be-announced bowl game.
There is still no word yet of an invitation to the Heisman Trophy presentation for Pumphrey.
Given that Pumphrey is considered a top-three Heisman contender by many journalists, let’s hope the invite arrives soon.
Stay tuned. An historic moment is right around the corner.