By Matt Rogers
Well, that was fast. Melvin Gordon’s FBS single-game rushing yardage record has fallen, after only one week. This time the record was broken by Oklahoma’s true freshman running back, Samaje Perine. Perine’s record-breaking performance is not receiving quite the fanfare and media coverage that Gordon’s did last week, but nonetheless 427 yards in a single game is more than impressive.
As previously mentioned, Samaje Perine is only a true freshman at OU, making his record-breaking performance that much more impressive than Melvin Gordon’s. Gordon already was touted as a top running back in the upcoming NFL draft and a Heisman Trophy frontrunner. Perine’s pedigree is not too shabby in itself. He was regarded as top running back prospect in the 2014 recruiting class by Rivals and Scout.com recruiting services, receiving a 4-star rating out of a possible 5-stars. Perine has also had a great first college season totaling 1,428 yards on 214 carries, while finding the endzone 19 times as well.
Another interesting aspect about Perine’s performance is that he is listed at 243 pounds. You do not usually see a running back that large running away from defenders the way that Perine did against Kansas. The fact that this is not receiving more coverage is confusing. We all know that Melvin Gordon is a household name among college football fans as a result of his outstanding play throughout his college career at Wisconsin. Shouldn’t the media and fans expect a guy with the reputation that Melvin Gordon has to break records?
What Samaje Perine did was done against a porous Kansas Jayhawk defense. Gordon’s damage was done against a Nebraska defense that was regarded as one of the best in the Big Ten coming into the game against Wisconsin, but that does not change the fact that Perine broke a record that was only broken a week prior. I believe that alone should be worthy of more media coverage. A record that stood for 13 years that was broken, then broken again the very next week by an 18-year-old freshman. That is incredible.
One other thing that is not receiving anywhere near the attention that it should be from the media is that the Oklahoma Sooners offense only totaled 39 yards passing against the Kansas Jayhawks, 19 of which Perine was responsible for. Perine was responsible for all but 20 yards of the entire Oklahoma offense this past weekend because their starting quarterback, Trevor Knight, was out with injury. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime performance that should have been worthy of more than just a quick mention from the media.