The 2009 football season marked the first time in the Tedford era that Cal did not have a 1,000-yard rusher. True, that had a lot to do with Jahvid Best being injured so horrifically in the Oregon State game, ending his season 133 yards short of the grand. Still, the 1,000-yard rusher streak was a nice one (albeit not as nice as the bowl appearance streak, which is intact. Yay!) and I was sorry to see it go by the wayside.
The Jahvid Best injury, as unfortunate as it was, gave us the opportunity to watch Shane Vereen as the feature back. And boy, did Shane deliver. Shane gave us memorable rushing performances in the Arizona game (30 carries, 159 yards, 1 TD) and the Big Game (42 carries, 193 yards, 3 TD), and decent games against Washington (16 carries, 92 yards) and in the Poinsettia Bowl against Utah (20 carries, 122 yards, 2 TD).
Shane finished the season with 952 yards rushing, a 5.2 ypc average, and 12 rushing TDs. (Cal's 2009 season stats here.) Not bad numbers. Shane's performance as the feature back in the last four games of the season also edged him up the Cal career rushing list. Through the 2009 season, Cal's top 10 on the all time rushing yards list are as follows:
Cal career rushing leaders:
1. Russell White (1990-92) 663 att, 3,367 yds, 5.1 ypc
2. Marshawn Lynch (2004-06) 490 att, 3,230 yds, 6.6 ypc
3. Justin Forsett (2004-07) 567 att, 3,220 yds, 5.7 ypc
4. Joe Igber (1999-02) 678 att, 3,124 yds, 4.6 ypc
5. Chuck Muncie (1973-75) 549 att, 3,052 yds, 5.6 ypc
6. Paul Jones (1975, 77-79) 715 att, 2,930 yds, 4.1 ypc
7. Jahvid Best (2007-09) 364 att, 2,668 yds, 7.3 ypc
8. J.J. Arrington (2003-04) 396 att, 2,625 yds, 6.6 ypc
9. John Olszewski (1950-52) 416 att, 2,504 yds, 6.0 ypc
10. Reynard Rutherford (1992-95) 491 att, 2,256 yds, 4.6 ypc
[Sidebar: look at the career YPC averages of Best, J.J., and Beast Mode. Filthy. Just filthy. Now back to Shane...]
Shane Vereen is not in the top 10. But he's knocking on the door. Shane's stats through two seasons:
325 att, 1,667 yds, 5.1 ypc
So going into next season, Shane is 1,700 yards behind Russell White, with two years of eligiblity remaining.
Truth or Cougar:
Shane Vereen will become Cal's all time leading rusher.
If truth, when will he do it?