Boise State runningback D.J. Harper enjoyed a career day against Miami (OH) this past Saturday.
After struggling to find room to run against Michigan State, Harper got better as the game went on against the RedHawks. Through the first three quarters, the sixth-year senior continued to see more-and-more carries and clearly found his rhythm.
Rushing yards by quarter:
1st - 3 car, 23 yds
2nd - 5 car, 36 yds
3rd - 8 car, 103 yds
4th - Deserving so, he took this quarter off with Boise State holding a 32-9 lead.
After offensive line coach Chris Strausser said center Matt Paradis played the best amongst the guys up front against the Spartans (despite the fact they rushed for just 37 yards on 24 carries as a team), once again, the redshirt junior opened holes in the middle of the field. Also, Harper found similar success running behind left guard Joe Kellogg and left tackle Charles Leno, Jr.
13*, 20, 11, 5, 6
(5 car, 55 yds, 11.0 avg, td)
4, 13, 8, 3, 14, 21, 43, -2
(8 car, 104 yds, 13.0 avg, td)
-1, 15, -1, 0*, 1, 2
(6 car, 16 yds, 2.7 avg, td)
*No play (penalty)
Harper also demonstrated his big play ability. He had seven rushes of ten yards-or-longer (which does not include a 13-yarder called back on a holding penalty away from the run) and three over 20 yards. The 43-yard touchdown Harper scored in the third quarter was the longest rush he has ever ripped off on The Blue.
Longest runs (Career)
2010 - at Virginia Tech, 71 yards*
2009 - at Fresno State, 60 yards*
2007 - at Fresno State, 49 yards
2012 - vs Miami (OH), 43 yards*
*Scored touchdown on the play
Proving he can handle the increased workload that comes with being the featured back, Harper had 10-or-more carries for just the 13th time in his career.
Most carries in a single-game (career)
2011 - vs TCU, 24
2009 - vs Oregon, 19
2007 - at Fresno State, 19
2012 - vs Miami (OH), 16
2012 - at Michigan State, 15
2011 - vs Tulsa, 15
Truly making the most of the opportunity in from of him, Harper rushed for a career-high 162 yards. It marked just his fifth 100-yard game in the last six seasons.
100-yard rushing performances (career)
2012 - vs Miami (OH), 162
2007 - at Fresno State, 153
2011 - vs TCU, 125
2011 - at UNLV, 109
2009 - at Fresno State, 107
With BYU up next, it will be up to Harper to show he can handle the workload week-after-week. In his four prior 100-yard games, Harper missed the following contest twice. In the two times he did suit up, he averaged 14.5 carries a game and rushed for an average of 77.0 yards and totaled up three scores.
— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)