Donnel Pumphrey Breaks Career FBS Rushing Yards Record

Photo Credit: Saturday Blitz

San Diego State Aztecs’ running back Donnel Pumphrey has broken the all-time FBS rushing yards record. He did it in today’s 34-10 Las Vegas Bowl victory against the Houston Cougars at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pumphrey racked up 115 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown on 19 rush attempts in today’s win.

Pumphrey, a senior who has been with the team since the 2013 season, now holds the record with 6,405 all-time rushing yards in an FBS career. The record was previously held by Ron Dayne, a running back who played for the Wisconsin Badgers from the 1996 season through the 1999 season. Dayne totaled 6,397 rushing yards over the course of his college career.

There is some controversy surrounding this new record, however. Due to a rule change in 2002, players’ statistics in bowl games now count towards their overall career totals. However, this does not apply to players who played in bowl games before 2002. The implementation of this rule helps Pumphrey while hurting Dayne since Pumphrey’s statistics in bowl games count while Dayne’s do not. With bowl games included, Pumphrey would be 3rd on the all-time rushing yards list. He would be behind Dayne, who had 7,125 total rushing yards, and Tony Dorsett, who had 6,526 total rushing yards for the Pittsburgh Panthers. Despite the extreme inconsistency with this rule, Pumphrey is now the official all-time FBS rushing yards record holder unless this rule is changed.

Pumphrey finishes his senior season with a career high 349 rush attempts, a career high 2,133 rushing yards, 17 rushing touchdowns, 27 receptions, 231 receiving yards, 1 kickoff return, and 6 kickoff return yards. He also had 1 incomplete pass attempt.

As far as the future of this record goes, the next closest active non-senior on the all-time career rushing yards list is Dalvin Cook, a junior who plays for the Florida State Seminoles, with 4,319 career rushing yards, which ranks him 69th on the all-time list. However, he will not return to Florida State for his senior season, so the next closest active non-senior on the all-time career rushing yards list is Brian Hill, a junior who plays for the Wyoming Cowboys, with 4,194 career rushing yards. He ranks 85th on the all-time list, so Pumphrey’s record should be able to hold up for at least the next couple of seasons.


-Asher Fair

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