It has been reported that Pat White of West Virginia beat Brad Smith’s all-time college rushing record for a QB. I will pause for a comparison before attempting to call this record bunk.
Last year, Kevin Smith was on the verge of “breaking” Barry Sanders’ all-time single-season rushing record. Kevin Smith did not break the record, finishing with 2,567 yards to Sanders’ 2,628. Here’s the problem with this comparison. Barry Sanders played 11 games. Smith played 14. Not only that, Sanders’ “official” stats don’t include the 222 yards rushing he gained in the Holiday Bowl against Wyoming.
Strange note from the 1988 season: Barry Sanders was in Tokyo when he won the Heisman Trophy. The Oklahoma State Cowboys finished their regular season with a 45-42 win over Texas Tech in Japan. Remember when Japan was going to buy the United States?
Back when Brad Smith played, the 12-game schedule was not set in stone. Therefore, he played 48 games in four years. Missouri went to two bowls in his four years at starter, which partially explains why I was not a great fan of Gary Pinkel in his early years. Pat White has played 13 games each year at West Virginia, so it’s hard to compare them evenly.
I had to go to Pat White’s ESPN player page to get my answers. Although his team played 13 games a year (and will do so again this year), White has missed three games due to injury. Brad Smith played in all 48 games of his career (take that, White!).
In brief, Smith got his 4289 career rushing yards in 48 games, while White has played in 46 games so far for his 4292 yards. So White legitimately owns the record. Plus he has 163 fewer career carries, so he gets more bang for his buck.
What vindicates me (slightly) is that Brad Smith (it’s cool that ESPN has these stats easily available) threw for 8799 yards in his career while White has 5433 career passing yards and is unlikely to bridge the distance in three weeks. White has 98 total touchdowns (46 rushing, 52 passing). Smith had 101 (56 passing, 45 rushing). White might take that one.
In any case, these are two of the top college quarterbacks of all-time, rushing or otherwise. While Smith has made a mark in the NFL, and thanks to the Wildcat formation he’s getting a few touches at QB this year. Pat White will get a shot at the NFL level because of Smith.
These numbers make what Chase Daniel has done to follow Smith even more impressive. Daniel backed up Smith in his freshman year. So in three years of starting and some mop-up duty as a freshman, Daniel has one more career TD than Smith. Daniel has 12,597 career yards to Smith’s 13,088, and three games to make up the difference.
While I have been convinced that the 2008 Daniel is inferior to the 2007 Daniel, I see that I am mistaken. He is completing 76.5 percent of his passes compared to 68.2 last year. So while he’s not going to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony this year, he hasn’t been a bust.