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Record Book Look: Five Highest Rushing Yards Games in OSU History

A lot of the GOAT.



I debated on even touching this portion of the record book because it’s essentially a recap of Barry Sanders’ 1988 Heisman-winning season, but any chance you get to watch highlights of the greatest running back in football history, you should probably take.

So, let’s get on with the GOAT.

1. Barry Sanders vs. Texas Tech on Dec. 4, 1988 — 332

Sanders’ program-record 332 yards didn’t even come on U.S. soil. The Cowboys played Texas Tech in Tokyo nine hours after Sanders was announced the Heisman winner.

Barry toted the rock 44 times in the game and scored four touchdowns, as OSU beat the Red Raiders in a classic shootout 45-42.

Here is a cool piece OSU did a few years back on the craziness of playing in Tokyo:

And here’s a cool piece ESPN did on Sanders in 1988 after he won the Heisman:

2. David Thompson vs. Baylor on Nov. 23, 1996 — 321

The only non-Barry game on the list, David Thompson gashed Baylor for 321 yards on what was his senior day.

The Cowboys ended up beating Baylor 37-17 to finish the 1996 season 5-6. Thompson finished his senior year with 1,524 yards. That was 10th in program history until Chuba Hubbard bumped it to 11th with his big 2019 season.

3. Barry Sanders at Kansas State on Oct. 29, 1988 — 320

After that Thompson detour, we’ll stick to Sanders’ Heisman-winning season from here on out.

Sanders had 37 carries against the Wildcats in his native Kansas, as he ran for 320 yards and three touchdowns. He was nearly averaging a first down every time he got the ball at 8.6 yards a carry.

OSU ended up beating Kansas 45-27.

4. Barry Sanders vs. Kansas on Nov. 12, 1988 — 312

Two weeks later, Sanders ran wild on the other Kansas school.

Sanders again got 37 touches, running for 312 yards and tying his program record of five touchdowns. It was the second of three five-touchdown games Sanders had that season.

OSU rocked the Jayhawks 63-24.

5. Barry Sanders vs. Tulsa on Oct. 1, 1988 — 304

We’ll go back to the start of the year to round this list out.

Sanders had 33 carries for 304 yards and five touchdowns against Tulsa in the Cowboys’ third game of the season.

OSU beat Tulsa 56-35, and Pat Jones, Sanders’ coach, said Barry might have still put up those ridiculous numbers if that was a game of touch football.


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