Fast starts, strong finishes

Marcus Allen breaks the 2,000-yard barrier

A fast start can go a long way toward winning a Heisman, although finishing strong can make up for it if you don’t.

Here’s a look at the Heisman-winning running backs with the most rushing yardage after five games, as well as those with the fewest. (Note: Only running backs in the two-platoon era (post-1964) are included here, as most backs prior to this era also played on the defensive side of the ball, thus limiting their production capability on offense).

Most Rushing Yards After 5 Games

YRNameYardsRegular Season Total
1981Marcus Allen1,1362,342
1998Ricky Williams1,0862,124
1988Barry Sanders1,0022,628
1985Bo Jackson9911,786
1968O.J. Simpson9801,709
1994Rashaan Salaam8932,055
1965Mike Garrett8521,440
1999Ron Dayne7731,834
1983Mike Rozier7592,148
1995Eddie George7451,826

Fewest Rushing Yards After 5 Games

YRNameYardsRegular Season Total
2009Mark Ingram4871,542
1978Billy Sims5541,762
2015Derrick Henry5701,986
1973John Cappelletti6061,522
1969Steve Owens6331,523
1982Herschel Walker6511,752
1976Tony Dorsett6651,976
1975Archie Griffin6731,357
1977Earl Campbell6861,744
1974Archie Griffin7311,620