The top two all-purpose performances in the nation were turned in on the same weekend _ both in losses.
Tavon Austin of West Virginia piled up a Big 12-record 572 yards in a 50-49 defeat to Oklahoma and Tobais Palmer of North Carolina State amassed an Atlantic Coast Conference-record 496 in a 62-48 loss to Clemson.
Austin moved from slot receiver to running back to strengthen a Mountaineer ground game held under 100 yards three straight games. Safe to say, he did his job. Austin ran for a school-record 344 yards, bettering the 337 by Kay-Jay Harris against East Carolina in 2004.
His 572 all-purpose yards were 6 short of the FBS record set by Utah State’s Emmett White against New Mexico State in 2000.
Austin also became the first player in West Virginia history to score a touchdown four different ways in one season. He’s done it receiving, rushing and on kick and punt returns.
His all-purpose average went from 193.3 yards a game to 231.2, ranking him second in the nation behind Western Kentucky’s Antonio Andrews (241.3 ypg).
North Carolina State’s Palmer had 277 yards on kickoff returns and caught seven passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns.
Palmer went into the game with an average of 113.4 all-purpose yards. His big game increased that figure to 148.2, 22nd-best in the nation.
STANFORD GROUND GOBBLER: A week after he became the first player in school history to record back-to-back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Stanford senior Stepfan Taylor ran for 161 yards in the Cardinal’s 17-14 overtime win over Oregon. Taylor tied Toby Gerhart on the Cardinal’s all-time list with his 20th 100-yard game. Taylor needs 8 yards to reach 4,000 yards in his career.
RECORD-SETTING KICKER: Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins became the NCAA career record holder in points by kicking when he booted a 26-yard field goal against Maryland. Hopkins now has accounted for 448 points, nine more than previous record-holder Kyle Brotzman of Boise State (2007-10).
MR. TOUCHDOWN: Temple’s Montel Harris more than doubled his season total for touchdowns and matched the nation’s season high for TDs in a game by getting into the end zone seven times against Army. Stefphon Jefferson of Nevada scored seven touchdowns against Hawaii on Sept. 22. Before Saturday, Harris had a total of five touchdowns in his first nine games. His 355 yards rushing was the second-best performance in the nation this season, behind Ka’Deem Carey’s 366-yard outing for Arizona against Colorado last week.
TOUGH AGAINST RUN: Florida International’s defense turned in the best performance of the week against the run. Florida Atlantic netted minus-12 yards on 19 carries against the Panthers, who beat the Owls 34-24. FIU set a school record with the stingy run defense a week after allowing South Alabama to rush for 188 yards. The Panthers are 54th nationally against the run, allowing 153 yards a game.
SHIP-SHAPE QB: Zach Zulli passed for 469 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to key Shippensburg’s 58-20 win over Bloomsburg in the first round of the Division II playoffs. Shippensburg totaled 673 yards, 507 through the air, in its first playoff win since 1991.