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On This Date in Sports September 14, 1991: Marshall Faulk's Breakout Game

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

In his second collegiate game for San Diego State, Marshall Faulk makes the nation take notice, as he sets an NCAA record with 386 yards on the ground while scoring seven touchdowns. Faulk's efforts enable the Aztecs to beat the University of the Pacific 55-34 at Jack Murphy Stadium. The 386 yards broke the record of 377 yards set by Anthony Thompson of Indiana in 1989. The record would stand for two months before it was topped by Tony Stands of Kansas, who ran for 396 yards against Missouri. The record now stands at 414 yards by Samaje Perine of Oklahoma set in 2014. 

Marshall Faulk was born on February 26, 1973, in New Orleans. Raised in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Faulk was a star at Carver High School while working on Sundays, selling popcorn at Saints games in the Superdome. Most programs recruited Faulk to play cornerback, but he wanted to be a running back and decided to attend San Diego State. 

After seeing limited action in his first game against Long Beach State, Marshall Faulk was forced to carry the load when starter T.C. Wright suffered a thigh bruise on the first carry of the game. Marshall Faulk came in and took command dominating the University of the Pacific. Faulk garnered 386 yards on 37 carries, scoring seven touchdowns, both of which remain the record for Freshmen. The 386 yards set a single-game record in Division 1, breaking the mark set by Anthony Thompson of Indiana one year earlier. Highlighting the game for Faulk were runs of 63 yards and a 61-yard touchdown run as the Aztecs crushed Pacific 55-34. 

Marshall Faulk had set the freshman record at the end of the third quarter and fell just short of the NCAA record of eight touchdowns set by Howard Griffith of Illinois in 1989. The big game would spark Faulk to a record-setting freshman season, as he ran for 1,429 yards with 23 touchdowns and finished ninth in Heisman voting. The game still stands as the biggest for a freshman, as Faulk went on to have a great career at San Diego State, finishing second in the Heisman race in 1992. Marshall Faulk extended his greatness in the NFL, building a Hall of Fame career with the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams.