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Auburn Record Holders and Bowl Games

Are there any Auburn records that change if you include bowl games?

Did Terry Beasley get shorted in the Auburn record books by not including his bowl stats?
2016 Auburn Football Media Guide

With all of the hubbub surrounding Donnel Pumphrey’s “breaking” of Ron Dayne’s rushing record, it got me thinking: are there any Auburn records that would change, or come close to changing, if bowl stats were included? The rule didn’t go into effect until the 2002 season. Does Bo get his career rushing TD record back from Carnell Williams or his single-season rushing yardage record back from Tre Mason? What about the receiving records? Let’s take this season’s media guide and the Google on the Internet Machine and have a look.

Rushing Records

Career Rushing Yards

This one already belongs to Bo, and he’s 780 yards clear of the next player who didn’t have bowls count, James Brooks. In truth, Bo’s lead should be larger, since he missed out on counting four bowl games. Bo had 64, 130, 88, and 129 yards in his 4 bowl games, which pushes his total to 4714. That’s nearly 1000 yards more than Carnell Williams, who got to count all of the bowl games in which he played.
Record Status: Legitimate

Career Rushing Touchdowns

Here’s a big one. As it stands today, Carnell Williams holds the record with 45 rushing TDs. That puts him two ahead of Bo Jackson, and two of Cadillac’s touchdowns came in bowls (actually they came in one bowl: the 2003 Music City Bowl; because of injuries he only played in 2 bowl games, and he didn’t score in the 2005 Sugar Bowl). In the four previously linked bowl games, Jackson had 5 rushing TDs (2 in the Tangerine Bowl, 0 in the Sugar Bowl, 2 in the Liberty Bowl, and 1 in the Cotton Bowl*). That would give Bo 47 career rushing touchdowns. Sorry Carnell. At least you’re still my favorite.
Record Status: Changed; should belong to Bo Jackson (47)

Career Rushing Yards per Game

This one already belongs to Bo. Adding the bowls gives him 4714 in 42 games instead of 4303 in 38. He loses one yard per game from the non-bowl total. The next closest is Kenny Irons at 95 yards per game, and that counts his two bowls (2006 Capital One and 2007 Cotton). James Brooks and Joe Cribbs are relatively close to Irons, but they never actually played in a bowl game (even though their 1979 team won 8 regular season games).
Record Status: Legitimate

Single Season Rushing Yards

Here’s another one that changes. Tre Mason holds the “official” record with 1816 yards in 2013. Mason was a Heisman finalist that season, but it really shouldn’t be ahead of Bo’s Heisman-winning 1985 campaign. Adding the 129 yards in the Cotton Bowl gives Jackson a final tally of 1915 yards.

As for other totals? Adding the 85 yards Rudi Johnson had in a losing effort in the 2001 Citrus Bowl moves him to up to third and 44 yards ahead of Cameron Artis-Payne’s 1608 yards in 2014. Giving Brent Fullwood his 152-yard romp in the Citrus Bowl bumps his 1986 season to 1543 yards and ahead of Cam Newton’s 2010 season (1473).
Record Status: Changed. Bo Jackson back at #1 with the only 1900+ yard season in Auburn history.

Single Season Rushing Yards per Game

Bo Jackson already owns this one by a wide margin. Though Rudi Johnson actually drops from 2nd place to 4th because he was 45 yards below his non-bowl average.
Record Status: Legitimate

Single Season Rushing Touchdowns

We finally reach a record that Bo Jackson doesn’t own or take back. He gets two more rushing TDs to break him out of a tie with Carnell Williams’s 2003 season, but that still has him at 19, which is 1 short of Cam Newton and 4 behind Tre Mason’s 2013 season.
Record Status: Legitimate, and finally someone other than Bo Jackson.

Single Season Yards per Carry (minimum 80 attempts)

No change at the top, and if you knew that Onterrio McCalebb’s 2010 year (8.53 yards per carry!) held this record, you’re a bigger stat nerd than I am. Adding the Citrus Bowl actually drops Fullwood below the 8 yards per carry threshold.
Record Status: Legitimate

Passing Records

Career Passing Yards

Stan White already has this one. I can’t find exact numbers for the 1990 Peach Bowl, but if he was at 339 yards in that game here, and he had 1 more completion for 13 yards, that puts him at 352 for the game and 8368 for his career. That just moves him further ahead of Jason Campbell, who only missed out on 74 yards from the 2001 Peach Bowl**.
Record Status: Legitimate

Career Completions

Same story. White gets a big bump while Campbell gets a small one.
Record Status: Legitimate

Career Completion Percentage

Cam holds this one at 66.1%. Giving Jason Campbell the 2001 Peach Bowl moves him to 564 for 872 in his career, which rounds him up to 64.7%. Coming into this season, that would have virtually tied him with Jeremy Johnson, but Johnson’s season-to-date has dropped his career number to 63.7%. No one else is close enough to investigate.
Record Status: Legitimate

Career Passing Touchdowns

The only change here is that Pat Sullivan’s record of 53 gets bigger. He had 2 passing touchdowns in the 1971 Gator Bowl (1970 season***) and one in the 1972 Sugar Bowl. That gets him to 56.
Record Status: Legitimate

Single Season Passing Yards

Dameyune Craig holds Auburn’s single season record at 3277 yards in 1997. Adding 258 yards from the 1998 Peach Bowl bumps that up to 3535. The next three behind him are all post-2001. Pat Sullivan’s 351 yards in the 1971 Gator Bowl bumps that season above those to second place at 2937 yards.
Record Status: Legitimate

Single Season Completions

Craig’s 1997 season holds the lead here too, and Patrick Nix’s 1995 season had no chance of closing the 15 completion gap after Nix completed just 5 passes in a New Year’s 1996 downpour in Tampa****.
Record Status: Legitimate

Single Season Completion Percentage (minimum 100 attempts)

Ben Leard’s 1999 season actually holds this record at 70.7% even though Auburn failed to make a bowl (mostly because Leard was injured twice and missed all or part of 5 of the 6 losses). The only season that could have challenged it was Jeff Burger in 1987, but adding his Sugar Bowl stats only bumps him to 67.3%.
Record Status: Legitimate

Single Season Passing Touchdowns

The true old record here should have been Pat Sullivan’s 21 TDs in 1971. “Officially” Chris Todd broke it in the 2009 Iron Bowl, but even counting Sullivan’s Sugar Bowl would mean Todd broke it in the Outback Bowl instead. That’s all academic anyway because Cam obliterated it in 2010 with 30.
Record Status: Legitimate

Receiving Records

Career Receptions

Courtney Taylor holds the current record, 153, over Karsten Bailey (150), Terry Beasley (141), and Tyrone Goodson (136). Taylor’s numbers start in 2003, so all four of his bowl games count, while the other three all missed out on bowl numbers. Let’s break it down:

Bailey goes back ahead of Taylor with 157, but Beasley jumps ahead of all of them with 20 catches added to his total for 161.
Record Status: Changed. Taylor drops to third, and Terry Beasley holds all 3 career receiving records again.

Career Receiving Yards

This one is already owned by Beasley, and he had more yards in his bowls than Goodson or Bailey. His all-time total does increase from 2,507 to 2,843.
Record Status: Legitimate

Career Receiving Touchdowns

Beasley is already 11 touchdowns ahead of Ben Obomanu and 12 ahead of Bailey and Darvin Adams. He does get to add one to bring his all-time total to 30.
Record Status: Legitimate

Single Season Receptions

The current record is Darvin Adams with 60 in 2009. Those numbers were definitely helped by the huge day he had in the 2010 Outback Bowl. There are four seasons in the top 10 that could be affected:

  • Willie Gosha, 58 catches in 1995: I can’t find a box score for the 96 Outback Bowl. The only catch I honestly know about is Robert Baker’s touchdown in the second quarter.
  • Terry Beasley, 55 catches in 1971: The 1972 Sugar Bowl bumps this season into the lead with 61 catches.
  • Karsten Bailey, 53 catches in 1997: four catches in the Peach Bowl moves this season into the top 5.
  • Terry Beasley, 52 catches in 1970: 8 receptions in the Gator Bowl moves Beasley into a tie with Bailey’s new 1997 total.

Record Status: Changed. Beasley’s 1971 season is the rightful leader.

Single Season Receiving Yards

Auburn has only had two official 1000-yard receivers in its history: Ronney Daniels in 1999 (1,068) and Terry Beasley in 1970 (1,051). Adding Beasley’s monster game in the Gator Bowl gives him the record back at 1,194 yards.
Record Status: Changed. Terry Beasley was really good y’all.

Single Season Receiving Touchdowns

Beasley owns the top two spots already, but adding his 1971 Gator Bowl touchdown puts the 1970 season into a tie with 1971 at 12 touchdowns. Go back up and look at his lead in the career numbers. You could give the guys right behind him one more season, and they’d have to break his single season record to pass his career record.
Record Status: Semi-legitimate. Now a tie between two seasons, but by the same player. There’s a reason #88 has never been worn since Boy Wonder Beasley.

Other Records

All of the place kicking records are held by modern kickers like Wes Byrum, John Vaughn, and LEGATRON (who needs just 17 points to pass Byrum on the all-time scoring list, and he still has another year of eligibility). I’m going to need to write an off-season article about how spoiled Auburn is about kickers.

Bo would move into second place in the Career All-Purpose Yards list, but he’s still behind James Brooks. Jackson also moves up on the scoring chart, but he’s definitely behind Byrum, Vaughn, and now Carlson. His single season all-purpose yards total from 1985 does go up, but 2013 Tre Mason hangs onto the record due in some part to his 395 kickoff return yards.

The rest of the scoring records are held by more recent players, but they’re so far ahead of the seasons that don’t count bowl numbers that it doesn’t really warrant a look (like Cam Newton’s 50 touchdowns-responsible-for***** number).

Final Thoughts

I had a feeling Bo Jackson would get some of his records back, but I hadn’t thought about the years that Beasley had. It helped that he really had two great bowl games in his junior and senior seasons. Out of the 3.5****** retired numbers, 2.5 of them belong to Heisman Trophy winners. Beasley is the only one that doesn’t have a major award to his name. It makes more sense when he really owns every receiving record, career and single season, 45 years after his career came to a close. For comparison, freshman receiver Kyle Davis had 2 receiving touchdowns this year obviously without counting any TDs he might catch in the Sugar Bowl. He would need to average more than 9 TDs per season, if he stayed 4 years, in order to pass Beasley. Even the passing-focused offenses of Terry Bowden from 1995-1997 couldn’t produce a receiver to match the true production of Beasley. That number 88 truly deserves its place next to numbers 7 and 34.

*-Bo also caught a TD pass in that game
**-Campbell’s three other bowl games counted towards his career numbers, since they were after 2002.
***-There were actually two Gator Bowls in the 1971 calendar year: one for the 1970 season on January 2, and one for the 1971 season in December.
****-The first bowl game I was able to attend. Gross. Just look at this mess.
*****- That number counts for rushing and passing TDs. Receiving touchdowns don’t count. All-totaled Cam was involved in 51 TDs that season.
******-No one has worn #2 since 2010. That’s not an accident.