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Bruce Feldman: How Texas RB D'Onta Foreman is trying to save Charlie Strong's job

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If D'Onta can average around 185 yards per game he will reach the 2,000 yards for the season and hopefully an invite to New York.


I like this:


"They had a great game plan," said Tech QB Patrick Mahomes Saturday. "They were dropping a little bit, but they were blitzing four and five a lot of the game, and they were trying to contain me. Malik (Jefferson) spotted me the entire game






How Texas RB D'Onta Foreman is trying to save Charlie Strong's job







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Figured this thread was current so adding this: what happened to RB Tristan Houston? Is he injured or simply not showing enough to the coaches? With our lack of current depth at RB it would seem that an actual RB would be valuable. With tha said: Foreman for Heisman!!!!!!!!!

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Nothing Can Slow Down Foreman






It's hard to pick which number is most impressive.

Texas running back D'Onta Foreman finished his day against Texas Tech on Saturday with 341 rushing yards, the most of any back this season. More than half--200, to be exact -- came after contact. And, most notably, 74 of them came on one shoe after a Red Raider kindly removed his left cleat but let Foreman continue on his way for the longest run of his incredible season, a 74-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Longhorns a 15-point led in what turned out to be a 45-37 win.


"He's the premier back in the country right now," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, who will take his turn this week trying to slow down the nation's leader in rushing yards per game.

Foreman has run for at least 124 yards in every game this season, stringing together a stretch of 10 consecutive 100-yard games dating back to last season. No FBS running back has a longer active streak, and if he does it again on Saturday, he'll tie 1977 Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell for the school record.

The Longhorns are 5-4. Foreman began a year of hyped running backs like Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Royce Freeman with almost no attention and an expectation of sharing the Longhorns' backfield with Chris Warren. Foreman was a comparative unknown entering the season, when much of the focus was on Charlie Strong's job status, Texas' quarterback battle and new offense led by freshman passer Shane Buechele.

Warren suffered a knee injury in Texas' fourth game -- after rushing for 225 yards in his previous two outings -- and hasn't returned since.

Offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert had to lean on Foreman, his 250-pound junior. He's carried the ball at least 24 times in every game since, and in the last two wins over Baylor and Texas Tech that put the Longhorns back on the right side of .500, Foreman ran for 591 yards and five touchdowns on 65 carries, an average of more than nine yards per carry.

The last Texas back to top 341 yards in a game was Ricky Williams, who set the school record with 350 against Iowa State in the middle of his 2,124-yard Heisman campaign back in 1998.

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During games, Foreman looks to wear down defenses and get stronger as defenses tire late. He hasn't flinched at a heavy workload this season. His 206 carries are the most for any Power 5 back, and he's getting stronger as the importance of every carry grows. His recent spurt has breathed life into the possibility of a fourth year for Strong at Texas, which looked unlikely after the Longhorns lost at Kansas State to fall to 3-4. 

"I've been on record saying the days of doing this with a back were over," Holgorsen said. "I was wrong. We run the ball as much as they do; we just don't give it to one guy 25-35 times. I don't know how one guy can handle that, but he obviously can. We dealt with him last year, and he had almost 150 yards. He's incredibly big and what shocks you is when he gets out in the open, he's gone. I haven't seen people track him down."

Cook, McCaffrey, Fournette and Freeman aren't within 300 yards of Foreman's total this year, and Foreman leads the nation in rushing yards per game with 1,446 in eight games. If there's a running back in New York City for Lamar Jackson's Heisman Trophy coronation in December, at this rate it ought to be Foreman.

"You don't ever realize it. When the season starts, guys just start playing well and that's what's happened for him," Strong said. "He's played well. He's taken off. ... He's had to shoulder the load. Each and every week, he's come prepared to play and he's played hard. He's been able to keep himself -- knock on wood -- injury-free. A guy who's very physical and has enough speed where he can outrun people."

Only four players on Texas Tech's 22-person defensive depth chart were heavier than Foreman, and as his shoeless scamper can attest, there weren't many more who were faster.

"He's faster than you think. The first guy doesn't get him down," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "His sheer size and the ability to move that well at that size -- once he gets going, you better bring your hat to try and stop him and you better bring a buddy because he is a load and once he gets rumbling, he's not slowing down."

Foreman patterns his game after retired Beast Mode running back Marshawn Lynch, and now he has the numbers to match. He showed up to Texas as a three-star recruit, part of a package deal with his four-star twin brother, Armanti, who plays receiver for the Longhorns. Kansas State, Missouri, Washington State and Illinois were the only other Power Five programs to extend an offer. In Texas' 23-man signing class in 2014, ESPN rated 16 signees higher than Foreman.

Nearly three years later, no player on Strong's roster has been more valuable.



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Eyes on Texas: For D’Onta Foreman, a 1977 Heisman history lesson from Earl Campbell


Earl Campbell's string of 11 100-yard games vaulted him to the 1977 Heisman Trophy; D'Onta Foreman has 10 and counting

Posted November 10th, 2016

Story highlights
 After being congratulated after a big game in 1977, Campbell said, “That’s why they call me a running back.†
 Campbell rushed for 1,744 yards during his senior season, with 1,054 of those coming after first contact. 
 On Saturday, D'Onta Foreman can tie Campbell's 100-yard games record that's stood for 39 years. 

Nobody sensed Earl Campbell could win the Heisman Trophy in September 1977. And the biggest story after Texas’ season-opening win over Boston College was something that provided sensory overload.

Bat feces.

It’s true. It was all over Royal-Memorial Stadium. School officials had to spend $140 to acquire 200 pounds of dry chlorine powder to eliminate what the American-Statesman called a “sniffer’s delight.â€

Those who purchased $8 tickets to attend the Virginia game the following week — yes, tickets were just 8 BUCKS!! — probably enjoyed the clean-up efforts. And they enjoyed watching Campbell rumble for 157 yards, a total that moved him to second place on the school’s all-time rushing list behind Roosevelt Leaks.




Campbell, running sweeps out of the I-formation, piled up 131 yards in the first half of a colossal 72-15 demolition of Rice. The bruising 223-pound runner was an afterthought, though. All the headlines focused on Russell Erxleben’s 67-yard field goal, a school record. Wind conditions were only 10 mph.

Texas was 3-0 going into the Cotton Bowl to face No. 2 Oklahoma. Quarterbacks Mark McBath and Jon Aune both got hurt in the first quarter, and all eyes turned to Randy McEachern, described then as “a hard-luck junior from Pasadena.†His stats weren’t pretty but effective enough. McEachern ran 14 times for 20 yards. He was 4 for 8 passing for 57 yards.

“Earl came out to meet me halfway to the huddle and had to introduce himself,†McEachern said. “He said, ‘You can do it, Keach.’ That was a nice gesture on his part.â€

Campbell had 124 yards, but McEachern was the star. He was congratulated by Texas Gov. Dolph Brisco. “One man handed him a Coke,†the Statesman reported. Another man told McEachern he had three girls waiting on him back in Austin. Yes, that tidbit was actually in this newspaper.

Campbell couldn’t be overlooked anymore once Texas knocked off No. 8 Arkansas. He amassed 188 yards, making him the all-time rushing leader in both school and Southwest Conference history.

An appreciative fan approached Campbell afterward and said, “That was great running, Earl.†The slow-talking Tyler native responded, “That’s why they call me a running back.â€

Campbell had a personal-record 213 yards against SMU. “Earl’s performance? Just like a Heisman Trophy candidate ought to be,†UT coach Fred Akers said. “And those yards weren’t free. He had to earn them.â€

Texas offensive back, Earl Campbell (20), picks up a first down for the top-rated Texas Longhorns in the first period of their game with Texas Tech at Austin Saturday, Oct. 29, 1977. Linebacker Don Kelly (43) and end Andrew Thomas (46) move in on the play, but Larry Flowers was credited with the tackle. (AP Photo/stf)




Campbell had 116 yards against Texas Tech, and tonsillitis couldn’t stop him against Houston. Campbell was laid up in bed on Friday, but ran for 173 yards on Saturday, his seventh straight 100-yard game, passing Chris Gilbert’s school record of six. “I was sick. I don’t quit that easily, though. The guys I play won’t let me quit,†Campbell said.

Campbell always praised his offensive linemen. But they knew how to motivate him, too. Against TCU, he had some short gains. “When I came back to the huddle, Rick Ingraham, our left guard, says, ‘Heisman, my ass.’â€

Say no more. Campbell finished with 153 yards.

Campbell’s 181 yards against Baylor broke Leaks’ single-season UT rushing record. And he scored his 15th touchdown of the season, setting another UT mark.

“Some day someone will come along and break them,†Campbell said. “I didn’t do that by myself. … Say ‘we’ broke the touchdown record.â€

After the Baylor game, Ingraham said, “A better player hasn’t been born yet.â€

The best part of the regular-season finale against Texas A&M wasn’t Campbell’s 222 yards. It was his 60-yard touchdown catch. Either that, or Campbell doing a midfield funky chicken dance afterward at Kyle Field.

By that point, Campbell had 1,744 yards, an astonishing 1,054 coming after first contact. He was an easy choice on Heisman ballots, getting 371 first-place votes. Oklahoma State’s Terry Miller and Notre Dame’s Ken MacAfee finished second and third, respectively.

Campbell became UT’s first Heisman winner and just the third SWC player in league history to take home the coveted award.

1997 file....University of Texas coach Fred Akers, foreground, smiles along with Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell during interview Friday morning on the NBC
University of Texas coach Fred Akers, foreground, smiles along with Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell during a 1977 interview Friday morning on the NBC “Today†show.





“When I was a kid and got in trouble, I’d always say, ‘Mom, I’m in trouble,’†Campbell said at the ceremony. “Well, Mom, I’m in trouble. I don’t have anything to say.â€

Campbell finished one of the best seasons in Texas history with 116 yards in a 38-10 loss to Notre Dame. At that time, bowl statistics did not count toward a player’s individual total. But Campbell’s final tally in 1977 was unmistakable — he had 11 consecutive 100-yard games, still one of the longest standing records in UT’s history book.

It’s taken 39 years for another Longhorn to come close to matching that accomplishment.

D’Onta Foreman has 10 consecutive 100-yard performances in a string dating back to last season. It’s the longest active streak in the country. In his last 10 games, Foreman has 1,750 yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

On social media, the hashtag #HEISforeMAN is starting to gain traction.

Saturday’s opponent, 11th-ranked West Virginia, allows 148.3 yards per game, the fourth-best total in the Big 12.





Campbell’s story is inspirational. His father died when he was in the fourth grade. At the Heisman ceremony, Earl’s mother Ann Campbell said, “I have 11 kids and can’t afford to get too nervous.â€

No need for Foreman to be nervous now, either.

“No matter what happens tonight, I know there will be a tomorrow,†Campbell said in room on the 46th floor of a midtown Manhattan hotel in December 1977. “I feel great. I’m relaxed. Like everyone else, I’m going to see what is going to happen. I hope things go my way.â€




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