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Five records Benny Snell Jr. can (and will) break this season


Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. is no stranger to shattering records. He’s the first back in UK football history with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, holds the school record for most career rushing touchdowns with 32, most rushing touchdowns in a season with 19 in 2017, and most points in a season with 116.

To finish his 2017 campaign, Snell became just the third player in SEC history to have at least 2,424 yards and 31 career rushing touchdowns before his junior season, joining Herschel Walker and Leonard Fournette.

But he’s not done yet.

He’s gotten most of the single-season records down, especially in the scoring column. Now, it’s time to finish the job on some of the other big career milestones.

Here are five records Benny Snell can, and will, break by the end of next season.

Total career touchdowns

Snell is already tied for second with Craig Yeast on the all-time touchdown list at Kentucky, and will need just six scores as a junior to break Randall Cobb’s record of 37.

We could see that broken in the first few weeks of the season.

The Kentucky running back had six games of two-plus touchdowns last year, and his workload will only continue to grow throughout his junior (and likely final) season as a Wildcat.

Career
Rank Player TDs Years
1 Randall Cobb 37 2008 2009 2010
2 Craig Yeast 32 1995 1996 1997 1998
Benny Snell Jr. 32 2016 2017

Passing up two of the most dynamic football players in Kentucky football history? Count on it.

Most career touchdowns in SEC history by a RB

Snell rushed for 19 touchdowns last season, pushing his career total to 32 scores.

If he manages 18 touchdowns as a junior this year, Snell will hold the record for most career rushing touchdowns in SEC history by a running back.

Coming in at No. 1, Georgia’s Herschel Walker rushed for 49 touchdowns from 1980-1982, with LSU’s Kevin Faulk not too far behind with 46 scores from 1995-1998. With another ridiculous season out of Snell, as expected, he very well may take over the top spot in conference history in just three years of action.

Wishful thinking, but if Snell stayed at Kentucky for four years, that record would almost certainly be shattered by the time his career ended.

Career rushing record

Sonny Collins holds the record for most career rushing yards at Kentucky with 3,835, with Moe Williams coming in at No. 2 with nearly 500 fewer yards at 3,333.

Snell is already No. 8 on the list with 2,424 career rushing yards, just behind Boom Williams at 2,511 in three years of action.

If Snell can manage 1,412 yards as a junior, he will take over the top spot as the leading rusher in school history, accomplishing the feat in one less year.

If he stays on his 2017 pace of 102.5 yards per game, the junior back can surpass (No.3) Rafael Little’s four-year total of 2,996 yards by Week Six.

Career
Rank Player Yards Years
1 Sonny Collins 3,835 1972 1973 1974 1975
2 Moe Williams 3,333 1993 1994 1995
3 Rafael Little 2,996 2004 2005 2006 2007
4 Mark Higgs 2,892 1984 1985 1986 1987
5 George Adams 2,648 1981 1982 1983 1984
6 Derrick Locke 2,618 2007 2008 2009 2010
7 Boom Williams 2,511 2014 2015 2016
8 Benny Snell Jr. 2,424 2016 2017

Single-season rushing record

Snell is already on the single-season rushing record list twice, including third overall with 1,333 rushing yards during his sophomore campaign.

Moe Williams holds the No. 1 spot with 1,600 yards in his 1995 campaign, with the next-closest being Artose Pinner at 1,414 yards in 2002.

Williams’s record will be incredibly difficult to top, but it’s a feat Snell could top this season. Williams averaged 5.4 yards per carry during his record-breaking season, with Snell coming in at 5.1 YPC last year. That jump is absolutely doable, especially when you consider the few outliers Snell had as a sophomore. The Kentucky back only had seven attempts for 18 yards against Mississippi State and six attempts for 15 yards against Northwestern (ugh) this past year, bringing his average and overall total down a bit. He also struggled to start the season against Southern Miss with just 67 yards and then a two-game skid of under 100 yards against Florida and Eastern Michigan in games four and five.

If he can avoid any complete no-shows and continue to take a step up from last season, Snell will grab the record, likely shattering all other scoring and yardage records in the process.

Single-season
Rank Player Yards Year
1 Moe Williams 1,600 1995
2 Artose Pinner 1,414 2002
3 Benny Snell Jr. 1,333 2017
4 Mark Higgs 1,278 1987
5 Sonny Collins 1,213 1973
6 Boom Williams 1,170 2016
7 Sonny Collins 1,150 1975
8 Benny Snell Jr. 1,091 2016

Single-game touchdown record

Snell is already tied for first with four touchdowns in a game, a feat he accomplished during his freshman season against New Mexico State. It was the game his legacy as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, running back in UK history began.

Like the single-season rushing record, this will be a tough record to top due to such variety of overall workload per game and a little bit of luck. If the Cats can drive down the field and allow Snell to punch it in from just a few yards out with ease like this past year, it’s certainly doable.

He had three games of three touchdowns this past year, with three more games of two scores. He obviously knows how to get in the end zone, but the balls will have to bounce the perfect way – or a superhuman performance, which is certainly possible out of Snell – to break the tie.

Single-game
Rank Player TDs Year Opponent
1 Don Phelps 4 1946 Michigan State
Al Bruno 4 1950 North Dakota
Calvin Bird 4 1958 Hawaii
Rodger Bird 4 1965 Vanderbilt
Sonny Collins 4 1973 Mississippi State
Moe Williams 4 1995 South Carolina
Craig Yeast 4 1997 Indiana
James Whalen 4 1999 Georgia
Artose Pinner 4 2002 Vanderbilt
Benny Snell Jr. 4 2016 New Mexico State

By the time his Kentucky career is over, there is a chance Benny Snell will hold every single rushing record UK has to offer, becoming one of the most dominant athletes this campus has ever seen.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

4 responses to “Five records Benny Snell Jr. can (and will) break this season”

  1. michaelb

    love benny but Sonny Collins is still the goat

    1. LaRueBlue

      Definitely a generational thing. Not at all gonna be true statistically by the end of the season.

    2. michaelb

      Once Sonny got started in a game he was hard to contain, nothing even like him has graced the roster since his playing days. He just needed a little bit of daylight and he left ppl in the dust. Yea Larue that stats will be over came , too bad that strand of halfback only comes through bout once every 40-50 years is the sad part .

  2. UoKFB PHAN

    Benny only needs to average 109/game (given 13 games) and he can overtake Sonny. I think there is a high probably he will hit that average given the o-line got settled midway through last year and the fact either Wilson or Hoak will be better at throwing the ball than SJ. The real question is could he hit the 4K mark.