Tag:Kendall Hunter
Posted on: November 22, 2010 6:04 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 7:06 pm
 

2010 Doak Walker finalists announced

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here are your three finalists for the 2010 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top running back:

  • John Clay, Wisconsin: 172 carries, 929 yards, 13 TDs
  • Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State: 248 carries, 1461 yards, 16 TDs
  • LaMichael James, Oregon: 225 carries, 1422 yards, 17 TDs

This process seems to be little more than a formality, as James is currently the nation's top yards-per-game rusher leading the nation's top-scoring offense on the nation's top-ranked team. If he doesn't win this award, there should be an immediate federal investigation. I am only mostly kidding.

The big question, of course, is what in the world is Clay doing on this list? Yes, he has missed two games, so his overall totals are going to be a bit underwhelming. But even taking that into account, Clay is only 19th in the nation (17th among running backs) in rushing yards per game; he's outperformed by Marcus Lattimore, Mikel LeShoure, and many other tailbacks. Clay's barely even the most productive running back on his own team; freshman teammate James White has 34 fewer yards on 44 fewer carries, and just as many rushing touchdowns. And teammate Montee Ball is currently outperforming both of them; in the three November games played thus far, Ball has rushed for 467 yards and nine scores.

Yes, Wisconsin's rushing game is a thing of terrible beauty at times, and it warrants praise and recognition, but this isn't a team award. And even if it's a deadbolt lock that LaMichael James takes this trophy home in December, it still would have been nice of the committee to offer up three actually worthy candidates.


Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:25 pm
 

Maxwell semifinalists released; where are RBs?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There has been one good piece of news to come out over the past 24 hours for Cam Newton : the Maxwell Football Club named him one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award , the organization's honor for the best player in college football. And though Newton has accumulated the stats and highlight reels of an All-American running back this season, it's perhaps for the best for him he doesn't actually play the position. That's the way it looks from the complete list of semifinalists:

WR Justin Blackmon , Oklahoma State, So.
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, Jr.
QB Andy Dalton , TCU, Sr.
QB Robert Griffin III , Baylor, So.
RB Kendall Hunter , Oklahoma State, Sr.
RB LaMichael James , Oregon, So.
QB Colin Kaepernick , Nevada, Sr.
QB Andrew Luck , Stanford, So.
QB Ryan Mallett , Arkansas, Jr.
QB Taylor Martinez , Nebraska, Fr.
QB Kellen Moore , Boise State, Jr.
QB Cam Newton , Auburn, Jr.
QB Terrelle Pryor , Ohio State, Jr.
QB Denard Robinson , Michigan, So.
QB Ricky Stanzi , Iowa, Sr.
QB Tyrod Taylor , Virginia Tech, Sr.

All right, so it's also a little odd that none of the top 16 players in the nation by the Maxwell's estimation happen to play defense. But it's nothing unusual for defenders to get snubbed in the national Player of the Year talk, and since the Maxwell Club also hands out the Bednarik Award to the nation's best defensive player, the Maxwell itself appears to be a de facto offensive players-only honor; even the great Ndamokung Suh didn't crack the semifinalists list last season .

So the much bigger surprise is that among a list of the nation's top 16 offensive players, only two running backs, Hunter and James, make the cut next to two wide receivers and a whopping 12 quarterbacks. Since when has the the second-most high-profile position on the football field been this devoid of stars?

Since 2010, apparently. Last year's Maxwell semifinalist list included seven tailbacks, including a pair of Heisman finalists in Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram and several who returned to college football for this 2010 season: Ingram, Noel Devine , Jacquizz Rodgers , Dion Lewis . Unfortunately for those four players, the season hasn't played out as expected for any of them; not one currently ranks among even the top 30 rushers in the nation at present, with Rodgers' 803 yards (good for 33rd) the best year to-date of the bunch.

Why the sudden downturn in the fortunes of the nation's top tailbacks? Some of it is probably a simple fluke. But some of it is the continuing rise of the spread offense, which revolves around the all-purpose quarterback at the expense of pounding along with the traditional bruising tailback. Auburn , Nevada , Michigan , TCU , Baylor -- these are all some of the most explosive offenses in the country, and all five begin with a mobile QB. It's no wonder all five placed their quarterbacks on the list above despite the presence of top rushers like Nevada's Vai Taua , Baylor's Jay Finley , and TCU's Ed Wesley . This year's top pro-style attacks, meanwhile, are all quarterback-dominated as well: Stanford and Luck, Arkansas and Mallett, Boise and Moore. Offenses like the 2009 Cardinal and Tide attacks that turned Gerhart and Ingram into superstars just aren't out there this year.

They'll probably be back next year. But that doesn't mean they'll be back in the same numbers we've seen in the past; as long as the spread remains as in vogue as it is today, the kind of bludgeoning workhorse tailback that makes award lists is going to stay an increasingly endangered species.
Posted on: November 6, 2010 2:24 pm
 

Oklahoma State shutting out Baylor 24-0

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well so much for this morning's game between Oklahoma State and Baylor being a shootout in Stillwater.  It seems Oklahoma State has decided to mix things up and bring a defense with them today.

It's halftime in Stillwater, and the Cowboys hold a 24-0 lead over Baylor.  The Bears have only managed to put up 176 yards in the first half, and have killed themselves with three turnovers.  The biggest one may have come late in the half.  Baylor had put together its best drive of the game to get within the Oklahoma State 20-yard line, but Robert Griffin III was picked off in the end zone, ending the threat.  It was the second time Baylor turned the ball over on what looked like a promising scoring drive.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State can do no wrong on offense.  Brandon Weeden has already thrown for 244 yards while Justin Blackmon has 8 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.  Kendall Hunter has 69 yards rushing and the Cowboys other two touchdowns of the half.

Still, the story has been the Oklahoma State defense, which until this week, I wasn't even aware existed.  Baylor has yet to find any rhythmn on offense, and when they do, the Cowboys for a turnover.

What I had thought would be one of the most entertaining games of the day looks like it's going to turn out to be a blowout, and Baylor can kiss whatever chance it had to win the Big 12 goodbye.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 5:53 pm
 

Nebraska leading shootout in Stillwater 31-27

Posted by Chip Patterson

Nebraska's defense has given Cornhusker fans flashes of the "Blackshirts" of old at times this season.  Saturday's matchup with Oklahoma State is not looking like it is going to be one of those times.  Nebraska's defense had not allowed more than 20 points in a game coming into the weekend, but the Cowboys have shredded the Cornhuskers defense and only trail 31-27 at halftime.

Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon continues to build on his breakout season, and has already picked up 129 yards receiving, including an 80 yard touchdown reception from Brandon Weeden.  But the Cowboys have been led by running back Kendall Hunter, who has rushed 17 times for 146 yards and a touchdown of his own.  Unlike the defense, the Cornhuskers offense is chugging along as usual on the back of Taylor Martinez, who has picked up 68 yards on the ground and 128 through the air.  Nebraska has also gotten some help from the special teams unit, with Niles Paul taking a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

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