AUBURN, Ala. — For the eighth straight season, Auburn has a 1,000-yard rusher on its roster. This year, it only took nine games of action to keep the streak alive with Kamryn Pettway.
Pettway surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season during the third quarter against Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon. He reached the mark on a 11-yard run.
The Auburn sophomore entered the game against the Commodores leading the SEC in both rushing yards per game and total rushing yards. While Auburn played eight games prior to the Week 10 matchup, Pettway only had carries in six of them.
“We knew in the spring that he had a chance to be a good running back,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said earlier this week. “He is still learning as he goes but he’s a real weapon right now. He’s running really hard, and he’s protecting the football. He’s getting more and more comfortable the more he plays.”
The Prattville, Ala., native became the eighth different player to reach 1,000 rushing yards for Auburn since 2009, joining an illustrious list of recent Tiger greats:
- 2009: Ben Tate (1,362)
- 2010: Cam Newton (1,473) and Michael Dyer (1,093)
- 2011: Michael Dyer (1,242)
- 2012: Tre Mason (1,002)
- 2013: Tre Mason (1,816) and Nick Marshall (1,o68)
- 2014: Cameron Artis-Payne (1,608)
- 2015: Peyton Barber (1,016)
- 2016: Kamryn Pettway
Malzahn was on the Auburn coaching staff for all but one of those 1,000-yard rushers — Tre Mason in 2012. Another recent constant in the streak for Auburn for the last four seasons is running backs coach Tim Horton, who also coached several star rushers during his time at Arkansas.
“Everywhere (Horton has) been, he’s put running backs in the NFL, he’s had 1,000-yard rushers, and I think he does a great job developing guys from when they arrive to when they leave,” Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said last month. “He just coaches the position extremely well and I think his players really believe in him, they appreciate the consistency for which he coaches them.”