Washington Huskies' Bishop Sankey Poised to Reclaim Top Rusher Status

By Tyler Brett
bishop sankey
Joe Nicholson – USA TODAY Sports

For a while this season, nobody was running the football as well as Bishop Sankey. The junior running back was pacing the Washington Huskies attack and leading the nation in rushing as he ground out yards week after week. But a tough three-game losing streak, low-lighted by a 22-yard effort against the Arizona State Sun Devils, took the wind out of Sankey’s sails and knocked him out of the national rushing lead. After a career-day last week, however, can Sankey reclaim his spot at No. 1 this week?

Heading into Week 11, Sankey is No. 3 in rushing behind Ka’Deem Carey of the Arizona Wildcats (153.14 ypg) and Andre Williams of the Boston College Eagles (147.00) averaging 145.25 yards per game. Last week, he gave himself a nice boost to that average with 241 yards on 27 carries and pair of touchdowns against the Cal Bears. This week, he’ll have the opportunity for another huge day on the ground as UW welcomes the Colorado Buffaloes and their Pac 12-worst rushing defense to Husky Stadium.

The Buffs have not offered much resistance against opposing rushing attacks, surrendering more than 200 yards on the ground three times this season, two games of 300-plus and even 400-plus to Carey and the Arizona Wildcats earlier this season. They’re allowing a porous 4.74 yards per attempt to opponents, which spells big opportunities for the Washington running game and Sankey in particular.

While there’s little doubt Sankey will do his part to get back on top of the rushing stats, he’ll need some help from the defenses playing the running backs he’s chasing if he wants to make up the ground. Carey takes on the UCLA Bruins, the last team to hold the dynamic running back under 100-yards rushing in a game, which bodes well for Sankey. Williams, meanwhile, gets a non-conference matchup with the New Mexico State Aggies who ranks among the nation’s worst defenses, which is bad news for Sankey.

While the title is little more than a point of pride, Sankey would certainly enjoy hanging his hat on being the most prolific rushing threat in the country. He’s got the talent and the matchup in Week 11 to make a major push for the top. Will Sankey finish the year as college footballs’ No. 1 running back?

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