Going into Saturday's ACC season finale against Duke, RB Duke Johnson was 59 yards shy of breaking Miami's freshman rushing record.
Not only did Johnson surpass the 839 yard mark, he shattered it in what was a record-setting day for the freshman.
Because of a self-imposed postseason ban, the Hurricanes would be playing in their last game of the 2012 season, meaning that Johnson had just one final opportunity to reach the historic mark.
According to Palm Beach Post staff writer Jorge Milan, Miami head coach Al Golden had every intention of helping his tailback break the record on Saturday:
"We’re going to try to work on that,” Golden said of getting Johnson the record. “Duke’s going to have something to say about that."
Up 18 points at the start of the second half, Johnson took the handoff on the second play of the third quarter and broke off a 35-yard gain to break the freshman rushing record.
Duke Johnson breaks #UM freshman rushing record with 35-yard burst— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) November 24, 2012
And Johnson didn't stop there.
By the time the final whistle had blown, Johnson finished with 176 yards rushing, 12 yards receiving, three TDs and 89 yards in kick returns—a personal best for the freshman.
All in all, it was a pretty successful day for the Miami tailback.
Duke Johnson finishes rookie year with 957 rushing yards, a UM freshman record, and 2,070 all-purpose yards (2nd-most in UM history).— Chris Yandle (@ChrisYandle) November 24, 2012
The previous record holder, Clinton Portis, set the 838-yard mark in 1999.
He would go on to finish his career with 2,523 yards rushing at Miami before entering the NFL draft and landing with the Denver Broncos as a second-round pick.
Portis retired in 2012 as a member of the Washington Redskins, finishing his NFL career just 77 yards behind the 10,000-yard mark.
Looking at what Johnson was able to accomplish this season, Coach Golden and the Hurricanes can only hope the freshman can come as close to Portis by the time his career is finished.
Today was certainly a good indication that Johnson has a bright future at Miami.
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