WKU junior running back Antonio Andrews has put together three of the top performances in the nation in three-straight weeks, accumulating over 340 all-purpose yards in each of the last three games, including 342 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. The performance made Andrews the only player in the nation to put together three different 300-yard performances this season, as he continues to lead the nation with 2,654 all-purpose yards in 2012 – 238 yards more than the next-closest player.
Andrews’ yards on Saturday came primarily on the ground, as he racked up a career-high 238 yards rushing on 37 carries, scoring a pair of touchdowns, giving him 10 rushing touchdowns this season. The performance on the ground moved Andrews up to 10th in the nation in rushing, and gave him his second 200-yard rushing game this season.
In his first season taking over the reins in the Hilltopper backfield, the Fort Campbell, Ky., native has put together a season that already has him ranked ahead of some elite players in FBS history, and is within striking distance of passing more elite company.
Andrews’ 2,654 all-purpose yards currently ranks 16th all-time in a single season, besting marks set by Marcus Allen (1981) and Bernard Berrian (2001), and is just 16 yards away from passing both Larry Johnson (2002) and C.J. Spiller (2009). In fact, if Andrews hits his average over the last three games (358 yards) in the season finale against North Texas, he would move into sole possession of second place all-time, passing the likes of Chris Johnson (2007), Jeremy Maclin (2008) and Kevin Smith (2007).
Andrews is currently 597 yards away from setting the all-time single season record for all-purpose yards set by Barry Sanders back in 1988, and his average of 241.3 all-purpose yards per game would rank fifth all-time in FBS history for a single season. Andrews bumped that average up over 10 points after Saturday’s game. If he can increase his average by at least nine points in the season finale, he would rank second all-time behind Sanders.
The do-it-all athlete has already shattered the Sun Belt Conference and the WKU school record for all-purpose yards in a single season, breaking those records against Florida Atlantic on November 10 following his 340-yard performance in that contest.
Andrews has been named to the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll on three different occasions in 2012, and has received honors from the College Football Performance Awards eight different times this season.
SEASON ALL-PURPOSE YARDS (FBS RECORDS)
1. Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State, 1988)…3,250
2. Ryan Benjamin (Pacific, 1991)…2,995
3. Chris Johnson (East Carolina, 2007)…2,960
4. Jeremy Maclin (Missouri, 2008)…2,833
5. Kevin Smith (UCF, 2007)…2,809
6. Troy Edwards (Louisiana Tech, 1998)…2,784
7. Jeremy Maclin (Missouri, 2007)…2,776
8. Darren Sproles (Kansas State, 2003)…2,735
9. Damaris Johnson (Tulsa, 2009)…2,693
10. Mike Pringle (Cal State Fullerton, 1989)…2,690
11. Dante Love (Ball State, 2007)…2,690
12. Mardy Gillyard (Cincinnati, 2009)…2,690
13. Chad Hall (Air Force, 2007)…2,683
14. C.J. Spiller (Clemson, 2009)…2,680
15. Larry Johnson (Penn State, 2002)…2,655
16. Antonio Andrews (WKU, 2012)…2,654
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS PER GAME IN SEASON (FBS)
1. Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State, 1988)…295.5
2. Ryan Benjamin (Pacific, 1991)…249.6
3. Byron White (Colorado, 1937)…246.3
4. Mike Pringle (Cal State Fullerton, 1989)…244.6
5. Antonio Andrews (WKU, 2012)…241.3