Vilardo: B.J. Baylor Rushing Toward Beaver Greats

Posted on October 28, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

Oregon State running back B.J. Baylor is averaging 118.6 yards rushing per game this season, the sixth-most in the country. He is currently the only Pac-12 player averaging over 100 yards on the ground per game.

Zach Charbonnet is averaging 91.5 while Travis Dye is third in the Conference at 80.3 yards per game. Kaeontay Ingram gives the Pac-12 four players in the Top 50 nationally in yards per game as the Trojan is currently rushing for 79.6 yards per outing.

Baylor is on pace to run for 1,423 yards in the Oregon State’s remaining regular season games. Should the Beavs get one more win—a safe bet at this point—they would be bowl eligible, and that total would grow with the additional game.

Oregon State’s B.J. Baylor. | Sean Meagher/The Oregonian

Throw in the potential of a Pac-12 title game and we would see yet another opportunity for the junior from Wharton, Texas. That could get him into some rare territory in Oregon State history.

It is almost certain that Baylor will get another 170 yards on the ground and become the 17th Beaver to run for 1,000 yards in a season. Should he reach the 1,400 yards mark, he would register the sixth-most proficient rushing season in school history.

He would become just the fourth individual player in OSU history to top the 1,400-yard mark. The others were Steven Jackson and Ken Simonton (twice) along with Jacquizz Rodgers in 2009.

The single-season record for an OSU back is held by Steven Jackson, who rushed for 1,690 yards in 2002.

Former Oregon State running back Steven Jackson | Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With the potential bowl game looming for the Beavers, Baylor could top the 1,500-yard mark, and should they win the North—and if they do, it probably means he is putting up big numbers—then he could approach that record total of Jackson.

Most rushing yards in Oregon State history

Steven Jackson1,6902002
Ken Simonton1,5592000
Steven Jackson1,5452003
Ken Simonton1,4861999
Jacquizz Rodgers1,4402009
Jermar Jefferson1,3802018
Baylor has scored 10 touchdowns on the ground this season, and can crack the OSU Top 10 for a single season with three more rushing TDs. The most ever by a Beaver is 21 rushing TDs by Jacquizz Rodgers in 2009.

In the Pac-12 era, the Conference has seen 58 players top the 1,000-yard mark in a single season. That number would have certainly grown by at least five had the 2020 season played out normally.

Last year, the Pac-12 had five players average over 100-yards per game with Jarek Broussard and Jermer Jefferson leading the way at 149.2 and 143.0, respectively. The two of them ended the season ranked third and fourth in the nation in yards per game.

The highest rushing total in a single season in the Pac-12 Era belongs to Bryce Love, who ran for 2,118 yards for Stanford in 2017. That total for Love was the 16th-best rushing season in NCAA history, and the second-best by a Conference player.

Former Stanford RB Bryce Love | Steve Christo – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Marcus Allen ran for 2,427 yards for USC in 1981 to set the Conference standard; it is the fourth best total in NCAA history.

If you throw out the shortened COVID year of 2020, Utah has produced a 1,000-yard rusher in six straight seasons, the longest active streak for any Pac-12 school.

That is a streak that appears to be in jeopardy of ending this season as the Utes are currently led by Tavion Thomas’s 405 yards through seven games. The Utes are still running for 177.1 yards per game, just much more of a committee approach this season.

The second-longest such streak by a Conference team belongs to Washington with five in a row—four of them by Myles Gaskin from 2015-18.

UW’s Myles Gaskin. | Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire

That streak for the Huskies also would seem like it will be going by the wayside this season as Sean McGrew is their current rushing leader with 283 yards on the ground over the five games he has played.

The next-longest active streaks with a 1,000-yard rusher for the season would be Oregon and Arizona State, both with three straight seasons.

This year, Travis Dye is on pace to continue that trend for the Ducks while Rachaad White could have some work to do to continue the streak for the Sun Devils.

ASU has also taken more of a committee approach this season, churning out over 200 yards on the ground per game, but White is leading the way with just 483 through seven games.

The balanced attack is bolstered by Jayden Daniels’ 401 on the ground. Last season, Rachaad White averaged an incredible 10 yards per carry for Arizona State. Between rushing and receiving last year White averaged 11.42 yards per offensive touch.

ASU running back Rachaad White | Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week we looked at some Conference players to lead the nation in receiving, and as we discuss rushing totals this week, we will do the same.

In the Pac-12 era, Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona and his 1,929 yards on the ground in 2012 stands as the only player from the Conference to lead the nation in rushing.

LaMichael James did pull off the feat in the final year of the Pac-10 as the Oregon back ran for 1,731 in 2010, one year after Stanford’s Toby Gerhart led the nation with 1,871. J.J Arrington ran for 2,018 yards for Cal in 2004 to top the nation.

Prior to Arrington, you must go all the way back to USC of the 60’s and 70’s. Between 1965 and 1981 a Trojan led the nation in rushing seven times:

Marcus Allen2,4271981
Charles White2,0501979
Charles White1,8591978
Ricky Bell1,9571975
O.J. Simpson1,8801968
O.J. Simpson1,5431967
Mike Garrett1,4401965

A Look at Some Selected Pac-12 Stats Nationally

• Drake London is one of just two players nationally with 1,000 receiving yards on the season with a total of 1,003, the second most in the nation.

• London also still sits second with 143.3 yards per game and 11.3 receptions per game.

• Camden Lewis is one of nine players in the nation who has yet to miss a FG attempt (min of 1 FG attempt per game). He is a perfect 7-for-7 on the year for Oregon.

• Verone McKinley III, Kyu Blu Kelly and Rejzohn Wright are tied for the Pac-12 lead and 15th in the nation with 1.14 passes defended per game.

• McKinley is also tied for second nationally with four interceptions on the season.

• Devin Lloyd is second in the nation with a Pac-12-best 1.86 tackles for loss per game.

• Kyle Ostendorp ranks third in the nation with a 49.7-yard average per punt for Arizona.

• Britain Covey is third in the nation in punt return average at 17.7 per return. Casey Filkins is fifth with a 14.9-yard average for Stanford.

pac-12 football oregon state

• Avery Roberts is averaging 11.1 total tackles per game, the third most stops in the nation.

• As a team, Oregon ranks fifth in the nation with 1.57 interceptions per game while Oregon State and Arizona State are tied for seventh-most in the nation with 1.43 interceptions per outing.

• Washington is allowing just 140.1 yards passing per game, the best mark in the country. The Huskies are allowing 194.4 on the ground, however, ranking 108th.

• UCLA is allowing just 94.8 yards rushing per game for the 13th best total in the nation.

• Washington is one of three teams in the FBS that remain perfect in the Red Zone

• Oregon State is allowing just 3.29 TFL per game, the third fewest in the nation.

• Utah’s 7.29 TFL per game is the 16th most in the country.

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