With the history of offensive playmakers for the Florida State Seminoles, you would expect for them to have 1,000-yard rushers on the regular. However, only 12 players in school history have ever accounted for 1,000-yards rushing or receiving in a season and no running back has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark since 1996. That drought appears to be nearly quenched, however, as Devonta Freeman finds himself just 57 yards shy of 1,000 heading into the BCS National Championship Game.
Through some combination of injuries, depth, performance, and back luck, FSU has failed to see a running back get over the 1,000-yard mark for the last 17 years. Freeman wasn’t expected to be in a position to break the streak this season due to the apparent depth of the backfield. But Karlos Williams has been eased into the rotation this season after moving from safety in Week 2 and James Wilder Jr. has struggled with injuries throughout the season, making Freeman the go-to back for the Noles this season.
He has taken advantage of the opportunity in 2013, rushing for 943 yards on 162 attempts with 13 rushing touchdowns through 13 games. He’s provided a solid contribution consistently for the FSU offense, averaging 5.82 yards per carry and 72.54 yards per game as the spearhead of the backfield rotation. He has scored at least one touchdown in each of the last nine games and in 11 of 13 games this season. In eight games this season, he’s rushed for more than the 57 yards needed to get to the 1,000-yard mark, making his chances quite good when FSU faces off with the Auburn Tigers.
But for Freeman, surpassing the milestone and ending the 1,000-yard drought is secondary. First things first, he wants to win and bring the BCS National Championship to Tallahassee. However, there would be no sweeter way to end the streak than with a big run to seal the national title game. Does Freeman have 57 more yards in him? And will they be the difference this January?