Sweeney Maintains National Rushing Lead for Fourth Straight Week
Claremont, Calif. - Junior running back Luke Sweeney (Broken
Arrow, Okla.) of Pomona-Pitzer has maintained the national lead in
rushing (all divisions) for the fourth week in a row, according to
the NCAA Football statistics released today.
Despite being held to a season-low 56 yards in a loss to nationally ranked Cal Lutheran on Saturday, Sweeney still averages 173.8 yards per game, giving him a lead of 3.2 yards over Jonas Randolph of Division II Mars Hill (170.6 ypg) in all divisions. LaMichael James of Oregon averages 170.4 yards per game, but has missed the last two contests with an injury and has not played in enough games to officially qualify for the NCAA statistics leaders (which require an athlete to play in a minimum of 75 percent of his team's games).
In Division III, Sweeney still has a healthy lead of 14.4 yards over the second-place rusher, which is now Chris D'Andrea of Montclair State in New Jersey. Johrone Bunch of Mount Ida, who was second behind Sweeney last week, is now third at 155.1 yards per game.
In fact, only eight rushers in all NCAA divisions combined are rushing for over 150 yards per game, five of whom play at the Division III level. Randolph and Richard Haley of Minnesota-Crookston (154.8 ypg) are over that milestone at the Division II level, while Shakir Bell of Indiana State (156.0 ypg) leads everyone at the FCS level (formerly I-AA).
Sweeney also holds the national lead if you include all four-year institutions, including the NAIA. Chance Demarais of Carroll (Mont.) leads all NAIA rushers with 158.3 yards per game.
Sweeney and the Sagehens will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Whittier for a 7 p.m. contest.
National Rushing Leaders - All Four-Year Schools (150 ypg or more)
YPG Name, School (Division)
173.8 Luke Sweeney, Pomona-Pitzer (III)
170.6 Jonas Randolph, Mars Hill (II)
170.4 LaMichael James, Oregon (FBS)*
159.4 Chris D'Andrea, Montclair State (III)
158.3 Chance Demarais, Carroll (NAIA)
156.0 Shakir Bell, Indiana State (FCS)
155.1 Johrone Bunch, Mt. Ida (III)
154.8 Richard Haley, Minnesota-Crookston (II)
152.3 Melikke Van Alstyne, Framingham State (III)
150.3 Marcus Price, Worcester State (III)
* has not played in enough games to officially qualify