STAT WATCH: Walker’s 264 yards most in an opener in 7 years

Sep 5, 2021, 11:52 AM | Updated: Sep 6, 2021, 12:06 am

Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III turned in the best rushing performance in a season opener in seven years when he went for a career-high 264 yards against Northwestern.

Walker’s total in the Spartans’ 38-21 win Friday was the highest in an opener since South Florida’s Marlon Mack went for 275 yards against Western Carolina in 2014.

Walker had the highest rushing total in an opener against a fellow Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since West Virginia’s Kay-Jay Harris ran for 337 yards against East Carolina in 2004.

Walker had a 75-yard touchdown run on Michigan State’s first play from scrimmage, and his four rushing TDs were the most by a Spartan since 2010. The Wake Forest transfer was the first MSU player to go over 200 yards since Le’Veon Bell had 266 against Minnesota in 2012.

Three other players had 200-yard games in Week 1: Duke’s Mataeo Durant had a school-record 255 in a loss to Charlotte, North Texas’ DeAndre Torrey had a career-high 244 against Northwestern State, and Missouri’s Tyler Badie had a career-high 203 against Central Michigan.


UCLA has allowed a total of 75 rushing yards in two games — Hawaii (26) and LSU (49).

Those stand as the Bruins’ best consecutive games since they held Stanford (49) and Arizona (minus-13) to 36 yards on the ground in 2006. UCLA had a top-10 rushing defense that year and had a four-game stretch of holding opponents to 53 or fewer yards.


Ball State’s Justin Hall extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to a nation-leading 44 and has a shot to break the NCAA record of 54 by Central Michigan’s Bryan Anderson (2006-09).

He had eight catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns against Western Illinois and now has 265 career receptions, most among active players.


Marshall recorded nine sacks against Navy, second-most in program history and three off the school record of 12 against Ohio in 1986. Eli Neal had three of the sacks after having 1.5 in his first 23 games.

According to Pro Football Focus, Navy had 26 pass plays, giving Marshall a sack rate of 35%.


Kent State became the first team since Arizona two years ago to intercept four passes and lose.

The Golden Eagles’ picks came in a 41-10 loss to Texas A&M. Arizona did the same thing in losing its 2019 opener against Hawaii.

Texas Tech and Troy had four interceptions while winning their openers. The Red Raiders had only five picks in 10 games last year. Troy’s four interceptions came against Southern.


There were two monster performances in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Fordham linebacker Ryan Greenhagen matched a Division I record with 30 tackles in a 52-7 loss to Nebraska.

Presbyterian’s Ren Hefley tossed an FCS-record 10 touchdown passes in an 84-43 victory over NAIA member St. Andrews (N.C.) University.


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STAT WATCH: Walker’s 264 yards most in an opener in 7 years