73. Travis Prentice’s MAC rushing TD record probably still safe

It took a little over a decade before somebody dethroned Travis Prentice from having the most career rushing touchdowns in the nation. Prentice, who ran the ball 1,138 times for Miami-OH (more than anybody else in the conference’s history and it’s not even close) scored 73 rushing touchdowns from 1996-1999 which became a national record, just one ahead of Ricky Williams, who had just finished his collegiate career at Texas in 1998.

10 most career rushing TD, national:

  1. Keenan Reynolds, 88 (Navy — QB)
  2. Montee Ball, 77 (Wisconsin)
  3. Travis Prentice, 73 (Miami-OH)
  4. Ricky Williams, 72 (Texas)
  5. Kenneth Dixon, 72 (Louisiana Tech)
  6. Anthony Thompson, 64 (Indiana)
  7. Cedric Benson, 64 (Texas)
  8. Ron Dayne, 63 (Wisconsin)
  9. Donnel Pumphrey, 62 (San Diego State)
  10. Royce Freeman, 60 (Oregon)

While Prentice’s record was finessed by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball in 2012 (then smashed by Keenan Reynolds, ex-quarterback of Navy with 88), it’s still a longstanding record in the MAC.

10 most career rushing TD, MAC:

  1. Travis Prentice, 73 (Miami-OH)
  2. Chester Taylor, 55 (Toledo)
  3. Bernard Pierce, 53 (Temple)
  4. Jarvion Franklin, 52 (Western Michigan)
  5. Garrett Wolfe, 52 (Northern Illinois)
  6. Jahwan Edwards, 51 (Ball State)
  7. Chad Spann, 49 (Northern Illinois)
  8. Kareem Wilson, 49 (Ohio — QB)
  9. Jordan Lynch, 48 (Northern Illinois — QB)
  10. Dan Lefevour, 47 (Central Michigan — QB)

Is Prentice’s record safe in the MAC? For now, it doesn’t look like a record that’s going to be bypassed any time soon. Teams by and large are going to the air with much more frequency and giving any running back [nearly] four digits worth of carries over four years seems incredibly unlikely.

Last year’s league leader in this category was Nathan Rourke, the new dual-threat quarterback at Ohio with 21. He has two more years to give, which means he’d have to average 26 rushing touchdowns in each of the next two seasons. Since he’s a quarterback with lifelong NFL dreams, it would stand to reason that he’s going to want to put up more points with his arms and not rely too much on his feet.

Maybe Toledo’s Shakif Seymour could be candidate? Coming off his redshirt-freshman season, Seymour was third in the league with 12 touchdowns on 116 carries. He was used a lot last year inside the redzone, but the best thing he has going for him is that he’s still young and his legs aren’t completely taxed. For what it’s worth, in his freshman season at Wisconsin, Ball scored four times on 97 carries.

The same line of thinking for Seymour could work for Andrew Clair at Bowling Green. Clair is likewise entering his sophomore season with four rushing touchdowns last year on 107 carries.

Again, still unlikely that one of Seymour or Clair will come close to breaking Prentice’s record. If there’s one way to pitch the Toledo and Bowling Green offenses, it’s by starting off with: “well, they really like to throw the ball.” This isn’t an unbreakable record because it’s been passed by twice, recently. It’ll all come down to what types of players schools can recruit and develop mixed with a shift in what teams want to do with the football when they have it.

Travis Prentice career stats:

Year Att Yds Yards/Att. Att./Game Yards/Game
1996 123 601 4.9 11.2 54.6
1997 296 1549 5.2 26.9 140.8
1998 365 1787 4.9 33.2 162.5
1999 354 1659 4.7 32.2 150.8
Career 1138 5596 4.9 25.9 127.2

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