Auburn Record Within Reach: 565 Rushing Yards


Aug 30, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Cameron Artis-Payne (44) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season was rough on the Auburn record book.

Last season, Auburn achieved new heights and set new school records with 729 rushing attempts for 4,596 yards and 48 touchdowns. The Tigers led the entire country in rushing, and actually became the first SEC team ever to do so. In fact, no other school in the history of the Southeastern Conference had attempted to run the ball as often or succeeded in gaining as much yardage on the ground.

More from Auburn Football

But of course, the 2013 Auburn squad didn’t stop there. As a unit, the offense gained 7,267 yards of total offense, for an average of 519 yards per game – both school records. The Tigers had a 1,000-yard running back for the fifth consecutive season, which had never been done before either on the Plains.

So why the history lesson? Because despite last year’s success, there are several school records that are still within reach in 2014 and one could be in play this weekend against San Jose State.

But first, more history.

On Saturday September 7, 1985 – almost exactly 29 years ago – the second-ranked Auburn Tigers hosted the Southwest Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) Ragin’ Cajuns at Jordan-Hare Stadium in the season opener. It was a blood bath. Bo Jackson, who captured the Heisman Trophy that season, had 290 yards and four touchdowns that day. When the final gun sounded, Auburn won 49-7 and had done something they had never done before, and have yet to do again: rush for 565 yards in a single game.

That Auburn record is within reach this weekend.

The Tigers were close last season under head coach Gus Malzahn. In the SEC Championship Game against Missouri, Auburn fell 20 yards shy of the record. Behind Tre Mason’s 304 rushing yards, the Tigers totaled 545 in the 59-42 victory.

One reason for optimism that the record will fall is that San Jose State was bad on defense in 2013. The Spartans allowed 214.6 rushing yards per game, 5.2 yards per carry and 29 rushing touchdowns. SJSU also allowed 40.9 points and 459.3 total yards on the way to a 6-6 season.

San Jose State returns eight defensive starters, and allowed only 150 yards on the ground last week to North Dakota – but don’t be fooled. A bigger and stronger Auburn offensive line will physically outmatch them up front. The Tigers’ starting five linemen carry an average of 304.8 pounds with them every play. The Spartans’ front four? 264.8. A difference of 40 pounds.

Live Feed

Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


  • 2023 Week 4 AP Poll Top 25: Every SEC team’s highest, lowest spot on ballotSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Football: Florida, LSU rise in Week 4 2023 power rankingsSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Tailgating: Where should you go in each town?South Bound & Down
  • SEC football standings based on yards per play through Week 2FanSided
  • Auburn Basketball: Projected starting lineup and depth chart for 2023-24 seasonBusting Brackets
  • Also, Auburn will have the full services of quarterback Nick Marshall. During the first two quarters last Saturday against Arkansas, quarterback Jeremy Johnson did not record a carry while Marshall sat on the bench. With Marshall back in the starting lineup, expect to see quite a few QB runs.

    The senior had 172 rushing attempts for 1,068 yards last season, and showed he’s still got it with a 19-yard scamper in the third quarter against the Razorbacks. Plus, Marshall will have Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant to hand the ball to, at least until the game it out of reach.

    Last week, Artis-Payne accumulated 177 rushing yards on 26 attempts, and Corey Grant added 87 yards on ten carries. With Marshall and the two running backs at full speed early in the game, the Tigers should gain huge chunks of yards on the ground. Plus, with the Spartans leaning on a pass-heavy game plan, there should be plenty of time on the clock to rack up yardage.

    Then, assuming all goes well and the starters are out of the game at some point in the second half, we’ll get to see what redshirt freshman Peyton Barber and true freshman Roc Thomas can do. Should one of the younger running backs break a big run or two, the yards will add up in a hurry.

    And the Auburn record for rushing yards in a game could fall.