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Published September 12, 2015
It took Samaje Perine less than a full season to go from Oklahoma's fourth-string running back to the NCAA single-game rushing record.
A week after Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon ended LaDanian Tomlinson's 15-year-old record for rushing yards in a game, Perine rewrote the Football Bowl Subdivision record book once again with his remarkable 427-yard performance in a 44-7 win over Kansas on Saturday.
Perine, from Pflugerville, Texas, is only the second freshman in Oklahoma history to record three 200-yard rushing performances — tying Sooners great Adrian Peterson. He also had five touchdowns in the game, giving him 19 for the season and moving him ahead of Peterson (15) for the most in a season by a freshman.
More significantly, he topped Gordon's week-old mark of 408 yards on the ground. Perine did it on a 42-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter, his 34th and final carry of the game.
Afterward, the 5-foot-11, 243-pounder was mobbed by his teammates and lifted high in the air in celebration.
"It was a great feeling," Perine said. "Being with those guys, the way they rallied around me just to motivate me enough. It was just a great feeling to feel all that love."
Former San Diego State star Marshall Faulk previously held the NCAA freshman single-game rushing record with a 386-yard performance against Pacific in 1991.
Playing in a driving rainstorm, Perine led an Oklahoma rushing attack that totaled 510 yards — the most under coach Bob Stoops. Perine scored on runs of 49, 33, 34, 66 and 27 yards and now has 1,428 rushing yards on the season, second on the school's freshman rushing list behind Peterson's 1,925 yards in 2004.
"It's really special," Stoops said. "Especially a true freshman and a guy that's as humble as he is and so mature in everything that he does off the field is really special."
Some other notable performances as the college football season nears the end of its regular season:
USUAL COUGARS: Washington State, which leads the country with an average of 488.8 yards passing per game, is no stranger to having a quarterback put together video game-like statistics. Freshman Luke Falk, however, did so in just his second career start on Saturday, throwing for 601 yards in a 52-31 loss at Arizona State. Falk completed 45 of 74 passes, and his yardage total is only behind injured Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday's 734-yard effort against California on Oct. 4.
SHUTOUT STREAK: Arkansas has had its share of difficulties, including a 17-game Southeastern Conference losing streak, since the Bobby Petrino turmoil that led to the eventual hiring of coach Bret Bielema. The Razorbacks, however, appear to have rediscovered the importance of defense this season, earning their second straight shutout win with a 30-0 defeat of Mississippi on Saturday. The back-to-back conference shutouts were Arkansas' first since 1965, when the school was a member of the Southwest Conference, and the school is the first unranked team to blank multiple ranked opponents (LSU and Ole Miss) in the same season since North Carolina Pre-Flight in 1942.
HUNDLEY'S MARK: UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley became the school's career leader in total offense in a 38-20 win over USC, finishing with 328 total yards as the Bruins closed in on the Pac-12 South title. Hundley, who has topped 300 yards of total offense in a school-record 19 games, passed former UCLA quarterback Cade McNown and now has 11,353 yards in his career.
EXTRA POINTS: Washington State wide receiver Vince Mayle was on the receiving end of 15 of Falk's completions, leading the country this week with 252 yards receiving ... Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 24 consecutive games, helping the Seminoles extend their winning streak to 27 games with a 20-17 win over Boston College ... Gordon didn't let up a week after his record-breaking performance for the Badgers, finishing with 200 yards rushing and reaching 2,109 yards on the ground for the season.