For my main UW story today, I wrote about Chris Polk and his quest for 1,000 yards.
Polk needs 111 yards, and he could realistically get it this Saturday against WSU, which has one of the worst statistical run defenses in the country and by far the worst in the Pac-10.
If so, he’ll put himself into elite company as one of just 10 Huskies to get 1,000 yards in a season (for the record, he has 889 yards and is averaging exactly 5.0 yards per carry, having had 179 attempts).
Polk’s season is impressive on a number of levels — he would become the first freshman in school history to top 1,000 if he gets it, for instance, and is fighting through a sore shoulder that may require another surgery at the end of the season.
It could also be argued that he’s doing it behind a less-distinguished offensive line than any of the other UW backs to get to 1,000.
Here’s the list of previous UW 1,000-yard rushers and their stats for that season:
1,695/Corey Dillon, 1996/301/5.6
1,407/Greg Lewis, 1990/248/5.7
1,390/Napoleon Kaufman, 1994/255/5.5
1,299/Napoleon Kaufman, 1993/226/5.7
1,294/Louis Rankin, 2007/233/5.6
1,197/Greg Lewis, 1989/266/4.5
1,111/Joe Steele, 1978/237/4.7
1,107/Hugh McElhenny, 1950/179/6.2
1,084/Napoleon Kaufman, 1992/182/6.0
1,055/Rashaan Shehee, 1997/168/6.3
1,036/Jacque Robinson, 1984/223/4.6
1,002/Ron Rowland, 1976/203/4.9
In the years when Dillon, Lewis, Kaufman, Steele, Shehee and McElhenny topped the mark, UW had at least one OL named to the All-Pac-10 (or in McElhenny’s case, All-Coast) first team. In Rankin’s year, center Juan Garcia was named to the second-team.
I don’t have the all-conference seconds teams for 1984 and 1976 when Robinson and Rowland topped 1,000, but UW may well have had a lineman or two honored on that team in those seasons, as well. UW had no first-team honorees in those seasons, but they did have some future NFL players on the line paving the way for those guys each year — Kevin Gogan at tackle in 1984, and Blair Bush and Jeff Toews in 1976.
I think it’s safe to say that UW’s current OL doesn’t have anyone quite to that level (not yet, anyway) putting into even better perspective the type of season Polk is having.