San Diego State Aztecs senior running back Donnel Pumphrey has moved into fifth-place on the all-time FBS rushing yard list with his performance on Friday night against Utah State. He entered the night with 5,518 yards on the ground for his career, and when he crossed the 81-yard threshold, he had rocketed past Charles White (USC), Travis Prentice (Miami (OH)), and Cedric Benson (Texas).
There is a legitimate chance Pumphrey may be able to chase down No.’s 3 and 4 on the list in Tony Dorsett (6,082 rushing yards) and DeAngelo Williams (6,026) by the end of the season. Ron Dayne and Ricky Williams, who were in school at nearly the same time, may prove to be a bit more unattainable, as Dayne’s record was 879 yards away at the start of Friday night with just four (five, including a bowl) games remaining.
A mark that Pumphrey will surpass is the 1,000-carry mark for his career by the time the season is out, barring injury. His best season on the ground came as a sophomore, when he carried the ball 276 times for 1,867 yards and 20 touchdowns. But his best overall season was last year as a junior, when he ran for 1,653 yards and 17 touchdowns, but also caught 27 passes for 414 yards and three touchdowns, allowing him to surpass the 2,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. Entering Friday night’s game, he had accrued 1,391 yards from scrimmage so far this season.
On the year, San Diego State is 6-1 and sits atop the Mountain West Conference’s West division. They’ll be in the conversation to earn the “Group of 5” bid to a New Year’s Day Bowl, which rewards the highest-rated non-Power 5 Conference team.