Arizona sophomore running back J.J. Taylor is in select company, one of only four running backs in the nation with at least 1,000 yards, and he is only 126 yards from being the top run producer in the country.
Taylor has 1,029 yards on 167 carries with six touchdowns following last night’s 212 yards on 30 carries in the 44-15 rout of No. 19 Oregon at Arizona Stadium. He is only five yards from the Pac-12 lead — Oregon State freshman Jamar Jefferson has 1,034 yards on 162 carries.
The national leader is Wisconsin sophomore Jonathan Taylor with 1,155 yards on 181 carries and right behind him is Memphis junior Darrell Henderson with 1,148 yards on 114 carries.
Taylor said last night that he does not set personal goals for rushing yards — at least he is saying that publicly.
“The only goal I have personally is to be successful, as a team and win games. That’s my only goal,” Taylor said.
Leap by the Leader?
Taylor performed an ode to Ortege Jenkins’ Leap by the Lake somersaulting touchdown against Washington in 1998 with a similar touchdown against Oregon last night in the fourth quarter. The 1998 team that went 12-1 was honored during the Homecoming festivities. Jenkins was in attendance.
Taylor took off at the 3-yard line and was struck on his way up by Oregon safety Thomas Graham Jr. causing Taylor to flip head over heels into the end zone.
“The thought process was just to get into the end zone and make the play and get the offense off the field,” said Taylor, who said he has heard of the Jenkins’ leap 20 years ago.
Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin did not seem to taken aback by the leap. He said his reaction when Taylor left his feet was, “touchdown … is he in?”
Sumlin is more impressed with Taylor’s qualities on and off the field.
“He’s a guy that’s a leader (and) a guy who can push other people,” Sumlin said. “He’s a great example for this program and for what we want as a competitor and as a person, just how he approaches everything.”
Give me your tired masses
Arizona must be thrilled that Oregon State came back from 28 points down to beat Friday’s opponent, Colorado, yesterday 41-34 in overtime.
A peculiar development with Arizona’s season: The Wildcats (4-5 overall, 3-3 Pac-12) have won all four of their games against an opponent that is coming off a loss and they are 0-4 against teams coming off a win. Why? By chance probably? The opponent is down psychologically? Maybe Arizona is picking up on film why their opponent lost in the previous game?
Only the Football Gods know.
Oregon lost the previous week 34-20 at Washington State.
Cal lost to Oregon 42-24 before losing 24-17 against the Wildcats.
Oregon State lost 37-35 against Nevada before falling to Arizona 35-14.
Southern Utah was beaten by Oregon State 48-25 before the Wildcats routed the Thunderbirds 62-31.
Notice that Arizona is 3-0 in Pac-12 games when limiting opponents under 20 points? USC, Utah and UCLA averaged 32.3 points in their wins over Arizona. The Wildcats held Oregon State, Cal and Oregon to an average of 15.3 points.