BY Steve Rudman 04:14PM 10/16/2013

All-America halfway nods For Sankey, Bucannon

Bishop Sankey is on pace to become the most productive back for a single season in University of Washington football history. The Huskies play at Arizona State Saturday.

Bishop Sankey has been named to the and Midseason All-America first teams, along with Washington State safety Deone Buccanon. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest unveiled its Midseason All-America roster Wednesday, a collection of elite that has seven players from the Pac-12, including Washington State senior safety Deone Bucannon and Washington running back Bishop Sankey, among the 22 first-teamers.  Bucannon and Sankey are deserving — but somewhat surprising — selections, playing as they do in football’s most remote outposts.

Bucannon, a Fairfield, CA., native, and Sankey, who hails from Spokane (Gonzaga Prep), made the SI team one day after both were also named to All-America first team.

Bucannon enters the week leading the Pac-12 with 64 tackles and four interceptions. He is tied for fifth in WSU history in career tackles (334) and is fourth in career solo tackles (231). He also owns 14 career double-digit tackle performances, including 14 at Auburn in Washington State’s opener.

Washington has not had an All-America back (full season) since Corey Dillon in 1996. Sankey is the nation’s leading rusher at 149.8 yards per game and is coming off a 167-yard, 2 TD performance against Oregon. Sankey has rushed for 100 or more in nine of his last 11 (his 12 career 100-yard games is tied for fourth with Robin Earl on the all-time list) and has moved into seventh place in career rushing with 2,525 yards, just ahead of Hugh McElhenny (2,499).

At 149.8 per game, Sankey is on track for 1,797 yards, which would break Dillon’s 1996 school record of 1,695 by more than 100 yards. Highest-yards per game average in UW history, minimum of nine games (Sankey shown for comparison purposes):

Year Player Games Yards Avg. Skinny
2013 Bishop Sankey 6 899 149.8 Nation’s No. 1 rusher
1996 Corey Dillon 12 1695 141.3 222 yards vs. San Jose St.
1990 Greg Lewis 11 1407 127.9 Doak Walker award winner
1994 Napoleon Kaufman 11 1390 126.4 Six seasons with Raiders
1993 Napoleon Kaufman 11 1299 118.1 UW career rushing leader
1997 Rashaan Shehee 9 1055 117.2 193 yards in Aloha Bowl
2011 Chris Polk 13 1488 114.5 Currently with Phil. Eagles
1950 Hugh McElhenny 10 1107 110.7 College, pro football HOF
2012 Bishop Sankey 13 1439 110.7 Ran for 205 in Las Vegas Bowl
2010 Chris Polk 13 1415 108.8 UW record 21 100-yard games
1978 Joe Steele 11 1111 101.0 Broke McElhenny’s marks

Only Kauffman, in 1994, rushed for more yards in a season’s first six games than Sankey has this season, making what we are witnessing now one of the most productive rushing seasons in Washington’s 124 years. Most yards, first six:

Year Player Thru 6 Skinny
1994 Napoleon Kaufman 1,104 4 200-yard games; 254 vs. San Jose State
2013 Bishop Sankey 899 Career-high 208 vs. Illinois Sept. 14
1990 Greg Lewis 813 Had a high of 159 against Arizona State
2011 Chris Polk 728 Best game of 189 yards vs. Utah
1997 Rashaan Shehee 677 Opened season with 171 yards vs. BYU
1993 Napoleon Kaufman 656 195 yards in season opener vs. Stanford
1996 Corey Dillon 648 Ended with a school record 1,695 yards
1989 Greg Lewis 620 Ran for 165 yards against Purdue
1950 Hugh McElhenny 603 Opened with 177 yards against Kansas St.
1976 Ron Rowland 592 Ran for 183 yards, 2 TDs vs. Virginia

Bucannon and the Cougars are listed as 38-point underdogs to Oregon Saturday in Eugene. The Huskies are six-point underdogs at Arizona State.


  • jafabian

    I think Sankey will need to at least come close to Dillon’s record to get AA recognition, especially if the Dawgs end up with the usual 7-6 record. If they can get to 9 and a solid bowl then he’ll make it.