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:
|29||Thurman Thomas||4847||1984||1987||Oklahoma State|
|30||Steve Bartalo||4813||1983||1986||Colorado State|
|31||Marcus Allen||4810||1978||1981||Southern California|
|34||Terry Miller||4754||1974||1977||Oklahoma State|
|36||Denvis Manns||4692||1995||1998||New Mexico State|
|37||Kevin Smith||4679||2005||2007||Central Florida|
It will be exciting to see just how far he will go. Stay tuned as we update his progress regularly.