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Donnel Pumphrey moves to 39th all-time NCAA rushing list; how high will he climb?

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Where will the Pumphrey meter end up after the match against Northern Illinois University?

California v San Diego State Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

At the start of the 2016 season when the Aztecs played New Hampshire, Donnel Pumphrey had already reached #74 on the all-time NCAA rushing list. During the game, Christian Chapman unloaded an air assault against the FCS opponents, passing for 283 yards, mainly to Mikah Holder who was performing as WR. Pumphrey grabbed just 98 rushing yards. The performance was still good enough to move him ten places, and among others he passed two-sport superstar Bo Jackson, and concluded the game as the #64 all time rusher.

The following week, San Diego State played what was perhaps its most critical game against Sonny Dykes's California Golden Bears. While the Aztecs had home field advantage, the Bears came in with an air of entitlement to a win, having handily won last year's match 35-7.

Their only intel on the Aztecs this year seemed to be "watch out for Donnel Pumphrey." Nonetheless, as the Aztecs offense, defense and special teams scored off of the Bears, and as the Bears stunningly realized that they were not in full command of THIS game, they completely and utterly failed to contain Donnel Pumphrey. In fact, even in spite of the fierce air raid issued by Davis Webb, during the first half Cal knew they had grossly underestimated the Aztecs.

During the Cal game, Donnel Pumphrey easily posted a remarkable 281 rushing yards, and flew past NFL Hall-of-Famer Marshall Faulk's all time SDSU record for most yards rushed, and completed the game as the #39 all time rusher.

As we all know, nobody was prouder than Faulk himself, who came out over the summer to meet with Donnel, and after spending time with him he ceremonially "passed the torch" as he assured Pumphrey that the broken record will come with his praise and blessing.

Looking forward, here is where Pumphrey will find himself after the next 200 yards. He will become the #29 all time rusher, and he stands to surpass the following greats:

Rank Player Yds From To School
29 Thurman Thomas 4847 1984 1987 Oklahoma State
30 Steve Bartalo 4813 1983 1986 Colorado State
31 Marcus Allen 4810 1978 1981 Southern California
32 Montel Harris 4789 2008 2012 Temple
33 Mike Rozier 4780 1981 1983 Nebraska
34 Terry Miller 4754 1974 1977 Oklahoma State
35 Ed Marinaro 4715 1969 1971 Cornell
36 Denvis Manns 4692 1995 1998 New Mexico State
37 Kevin Smith 4679 2005 2007 Central Florida
38 Anthony Davis 4676 2001 2004 Wisconsin

It will be exciting to see just how far he will go. Stay tuned as we update his progress regularly.