BY Steve Rudman 04:07PM 09/18/2013

Bishop Sankey Off To Historic Start For Huskies

Washington’s Bishop Sankey is off to one of the best rushing starts in school history. Sankey and the Huskies are home Saturday to face Idaho State of the Big Sky.

Bishop Sankey (25) rushed for 369 yards in Washington’s first two games, a performance exceeded only Napoleon Kaufman in 1994. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Of the 11 1,000-yard rushers in University of Washington football history, only three — Greg Lewis (1989-90), Napoleon Kaufman (1992-94) and Chris Polk (2009-11) — have exceeded the mark multiple times. Unless an injury fells him, Bishop Sankey will easily become the fourth, and his rate of 184.5 yards per game could also get him to 1,000 the quickest.

Napoleon Kaufman (1992-94) required seven games in 1994 to surpass 1,000 yards and did so by averaging 151.1, 33.4 fewer than Sankey’s average after two. Of Washington’s 1,000-yard rushers, Kaufman is the only one to accumulate more yards than Sankey after the first two games of a season, as the chart shows:

Year Runner Yards Skinny
1994 Napoleon Kaufman 463 252 vs. USC, 211 vs. Ohio State
2013 Bishop Sankey 369 161 vs. Boise St., 208 vs. Illinois
1989 Greg Lewis 298 133 vs. Texas A&M, 165 vs. Purdue
1950 Hugh McElhenny 267 177 vs. Kansas St., 90 vs. Minnesota
1990 Greg Lewis 258 157 vs. San Jose St., 101 vs. Purdue
1993 Napoleon Kaufman 246 195 vs. Stanford, 51 vs. Ohio State
1997 Rashaan Shehee 243 171 vs. BYU, 72 vs. San Diego St.
2011 Chris Polk 232 125 vs. BYU, 107 vs. Hawaii
1976 Ronnie Rowland 212 183 vs. Virginia, 29 vs. Colorado

In the fifth and sixth weeks of the 1994 season, Kaufman ran for 227 yards against UCLA (1 TD) and 254 against San Jose State (3 TDs) for a total of 481, the most over any two consecutive games by a UW 1,000-yard rusher. Sankey comes up seventh on this list with 369.

Year Runner Yards Skinny
1994 Napoleon Kaufman 481 227 vs. UCLA, 254 vs. San Jose St.
2010 Chris Polk 461 284 vs. Washington St., 177 vs. Nebraska
1996 Corey Dillon 404 259 vs. Oregon, 145 vs. UCLA
1950 Hugh McElhenny 382 296 vs. Washington St., 86 vs. USC
1996 Corey Dillon 377 222 vs. San Jose State, 155 vs. WSU
2010 Chris Polk 370 86 vs. California, 284 vs. WSU
2013 Bishop Sankey 369 161 vs. Boise St., 208 vs. Illinois
2012 Bishop Sankey 345 189 vs. California, 156 vs. Utah
1990 Greg Lewis 328 159 vs. Arizona St., 169 vs. Oregon
2007 Louis Rankin 325 70 vs. Arizona, 255 vs. Stanford
1990 Greg Lewis 313 108 vs. Stanford, 205 vs. California
1978 Joe Steele 311 155 vs. Indiana, 156 vs. Oregon St.
2011 Chris Polk 306 189 vs. Utah, 117 vs. Colorado
1997 Rashaan Shehee 305 136 vs. Arizona, 169 vs. Oregon St.
1993 Napoleon Kaufman 300 119 vs. USC, 181 vs. Washington St.

Kaufman finished with 1,390 yards in 1994, which established a UW single-season record that lasted two years. In 1996, Corey Dillon broke it with 1,695, collecting 517 in his final three games against San Jose State (222), Washington State (155) and Colorado (140).

If  Sankey maintained his 184.5 average, which leads the FBS, he would finish with 2,214 yards (and 18 touchdowns). That’s a big if and probably not realistic. But his start to 2013 certainly invites comparisons to his UW predecessors.


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    The latter half of the Dawgs schedule makes it challenging for Sankey, but you never know what could happen. If the passing game opens up more that might take some of the heat off him. However when you’re mentioned in the same breath as Napolean…well, as I said anything can happen.