Mizzou football: Can Tyler Badie break the single-season rushing record?
While Mizzou is fighting for a bowl bid, running back Tyler Badie is chasing history.
The running back is looking to break the Mizzou single-season rushing record held by Devin West, who rushed for 1,578 yards in 1998 with 17 touchdowns.
Badie is already over the 1,000-yard mark at 1,030, with 3 games to go and possibly a bowl game. The question is can he do it? He’ll need a bowl game, but the schedule sets up nicely for a run at the record book. If he gets to play in 4 more games, he’ll need to average 137 yards to reach the record. That number jumps to 183 per game if the Tigers don’t reach a bowl game.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the Tigers’ schedule to find out if he can pull this off.
The Gamecocks have one of the worst rushing defenses in the country, which is good news for Badie. They give up about 4.29 rushes per game and 159 yards per game, too, which ranks 79th in the country.
Five running backs have topped 100 yards against the Gamecocks, but Badie will have to do better than that to have a shot. Again, 140 is the target number. Devon Achane and Chris Rodriguez both topped 140 against the Gamecocks.
South Carolina, however, stopped Florida’s ground game last week. Nobody ran for more than 50 yards. Plus, the Gamecocks will be just as motivated as the Tigers coming into this game because they also have a chance of making a bowl game. Badie could still have a big game, however, against an average defense.
Prediction: Badie rushes for 130, 1 touchdown
Surprisingly or maybe not so surprisingly, the Gators’ run defense is worse than the Gamecocks. They are ranked 84th in the country in run defense giving up 4.47 yards per carry, which equals to about 162 yards per game.
Four running backs have topped 100 against the Gators, including Tyrion Davis-Price, who ran for 287 to break LSU’s single-game rushing record.
Sunday night, they fired defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Let’s just say, based on their social media reaction, several players didn’t seem to mind. It remains to be seen whether the Gators will rally around that decision or simply mail in the rest of the decision.
Look for the Gators to get a lot of vitamin B from the Tigers and for Badie, regardless of the final outcome, to have a big day.
Prediction: Badie rushes for 170, 2 touchdowns
Out of the 3 teams we are looking at, the Hogs have the best chance, if you can call it that, of stopping Badie. They are ranked 73rd in the country in stopping the run averaging giving up about 4.12 yards a carry and 156 yards per game.
Just 2 running backs have topped 100 yards against the Hogs, and neither reached 115.
Arkansas’ rush defense average is slightly better than the Gamecocks and Gators, but they do have a tendency to still give up yardage. The Hogs also will be coming off what figures to be a physical game against Alabama.
All of which means Badie should have a chance at another triple-digit day.
Prediction: Badie rushes for 120 yards 1 touchdown
If he were to rush for all those yards in these next 3 games, he would still fall short of the needed yardage, but there is still hope.
If the Tigers make a bowl game, he could break the record then, depending on who they face.
The good news for him is that he is probably facing the 3 worst rush defenses in the conference, which sets him up for the record-run.
It’s been a tough season for Mizzou, but if there is one player on this team that is deserving of being rewarded for his hard work and dedication, it’s Tyler Badie.
Badie has been a constant when there have been so many inconsistencies with this team. He has been steadfast and reliable.
It would be nice to add the label of “record-breaker,” too.