Another 400-yard day pushes Ga Southern to top of rush chart
Georgia Southern has returned to the top of the national rushing chart.
The Eagles ran for a season-high 455 yards in Saturday’s 51-31 win at Louisiana Monroe, pushing their average to 377.4 a game. Their second straight 400-yard rushing game, and third of the season, allowed them to move past Baylor for the national lead.
Featured back Matt Breida is on pace to better his numbers from a year ago, when he ran for almost 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns. Through five games he’s averaging 148.6 yards with 10 TDs.
He’s among five Georgia Southern players rushing for 44 or more yards a game. Willie Fritz’s triple-option offense has the Eagles running on 82 percent of their snaps. They’ve scored 22 touchdowns on the ground in the last four games.
Last year, the program’s first in the FBS, the Eagles ran for a nation-best 380 yards a game while winning the Sun Belt Conference.
Some other notable statistical feats:
THIS TACKLE MAKES TACKLES: CJ Johnson of Kentucky, who had a total of 18 tackles through four games, made a career-high 19 against Eastern Kentucky. That was the most by a defensive lineman in the country this season and most by a Kentucky lineman since at least 1992.
200 CLUB: Six running backs went over 200 yards – Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott (23 carries for 274 vs. Indiana), New Mexico State’s Larry Rose III (21-260 vs. New Mexico), LSU’s Leonard Fournette (26-233 vs. Eastern Michigan), Arkansas State’s Michael Gordon (26-221 vs. Idaho), Baylor’s Shock Linwood (20-221 vs. Texas Tech) and Wyoming’s Brian Hill (30-208 vs. Appalachian State). Fournette still holds a large lead in the national rushing race, averaging 216 yards a game.
OH, BOY, BOYKIN: Trevone Boykin’s five touchdowns for TCU against Texas gives him 14 in the last three games and set a school career record. Boykin now has 74 TD passes; Andy Dalton had 71 from 2007-10.
SHARPE TARGET: UMass’ Tajae Sharpe caught a school-record 15 passes against Florida International. That tied for the third-most receptions in a game this season behind Josh Doctson’s 18 for TCU against Texas Tech on Sept. 26 and Trent Sherfield’s 16 for Vanderbilt against Austin Peay on Sept. 19. Sharpe’s catches covered 159 yards, and he had a touchdown.
RUNNING WRONG DIRECTION: UCF netted minus-35 rushing yards against Tulane. Delaware State is the only other team to go so far backward on the ground, netting minus-38 yards against Kent State on Sept. 12. Tulane pushed the Knights back on the strength of seven sacks and five other tackles for loss.
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK: Division II Shippensburg made up a 27-point deficit in the last 20 minutes to tie East Stroudsburg and then prevailed 69-67 in five overtimes. It was the longest game in Shippensburg history and the second-highest scoring game ever in the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference.