The Most Rushing Yards in a CFB Season
College Football Stats and Lists
In recent years college football has evolved into a wide open offensive game and that is usually associated with the pass but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been plenty of impactful running backs. Get winning College Football picks and College Football predictions for every game all season long at Sports Chat Place.
To date 35 running backs have rushed for 2000 yards or more in a season and another 19 have rushed for over 1900. While we need to take into account bowl games, putting up rushing totals like we will see on this list are more than impressive.
These are the best single season rushing yards in a college football season.
1) Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State) - 2628 Yards in 1988 - Barry Sanders was an unstoppable force for the Cowboys and he had what statistically was the best season ever for a college running back averaging 7.6 yards per carry and scoring 37 touchdowns.
2) Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) - 2587 Yards in 2014 -Gordon was so good the 7.5 yards per carry Gordon averaged in 2014 was the worst of his college career.
3) Kevin Smith (UCF) - 2567 Yards in 2007 - Smith was unstoppable in 2007 but he never reached these types of numbers in the NFL where he played on some bad Lions teams and never really got his footing.
4) Marcus Allen (USC) - 2427 in 1981 - Marcus Allen was a threat to take it all the way every time he touched the ball and the Trojans weren’t afraid to give it to him as he had 433 carries in 1981.
5) Rashaad Penny (San Diego State) - 2248 Yards in 2017 - San Diego State seems to pump out running backs on a regular basis and Penny takes a back seat to none of them as he was nearly impossible to stop once he got into the
6) Derrick Henry (Alabama) - 2219 Yards in 2015 - Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship with the Crimson Tide and took his game with him to the next level in the NFL.
7) Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) - 2194 Yards in 2018 - Taylor went over 2000 yards twice in his three years with the Badgers with 2018 being his best year.
8) Troy Davis (Iowa State) - 2185 in 1996 - Davis went over 2000 yards in both 1995 and 1996 but the over 400 carries in 96 took its toll and he never had a big pro career.
9) Andre Williams (Boston College) - 2177 in 2013 - Williams played four years at Boston College but never had nearly the season or numbers he had until 2013.
10) Ladanian Tomlinson (TCU) - 2158 Yards in 2000 - Tomlinson is one of the few on the list who didn’t play in a bowl game so his numbers came in just 11 games.
11) Tony Dorsett (Pitt) - 2150 Yards in 1976 - Touchdown Tony ran all the way to the Heisman Trophy and his Panthers ran the table and won the National Championship as well.
12) Mike Rozier (Nebraska) - 2148 Yards in 1983 - Rozier won the Heisman Trophy and his team is considered the best of all time by many but they lost in the National Title game to Miami.
13) Donnel Pumphrey (San Diego State) - 2133 Yards in 2016 - Another San Diego State back hits the list which says it’s time to give the San Diego State offensive line some credit.
14) Matt Forte (Tulane) - 2127 Yards in 2007 - Forte is one of the few duel threat running backs on this list as he also caught 32 passes the same year.
15) Ricky WIlliams (Texas) - 2124 Yards in 1998 - Williams won the Heisman Trophy and found the end zone in bunches including 6 touchdowns against Rice and 5 TD’s against Iowa State.