Kent State running backs Dri Archer andTrayion Durham (Cincinnati) have both been named nominees for the Doak Walker Award that honors the nation’s best running back. Kent State is one of just five teams to have two running backs nominated for the award.
The lightning and thunder combo have been key to the Golden Flashes 8-1 overall start and perfect 5-0 Mid-American Conference record.
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Archer has established himself as one of the nation’s best all-around threats and is also a top candidate for the Paul Hornung Award that honors the nation’s most versatile player.
On the ground, Archer averages 9.2 yards per carry (more than any NCAA player with at least 10 carries per game). He also has 10 rushing touchdowns on 97 carries. His 99.1 rushing yards per game ranks 33rd in the nation.
Archer’s best rushing performance came at Army, when he ran for 222 yards on a mere 12 carries - the most yards in a game by a KSU player since 2007. He’s been named to SI.com’s Midseason All-America First team as an all-purpose performer, has been honored as a MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week twice and MAC Offensive Player of the Week once.
Archer's 10.67 average points per game is tied for ninth in the nation in scoring and leads the MAC. He has four multi-touchdown games and a trio of three-touchdown performances.
Durham is coming off a career-best, three-touchdown performance against rival Akron. Over his last five games, the 6-foot, 250-pound bruiser is averaging 108.6 rushing yards with eight touchdowns and two MAC East Offensive Player of the Week awards. Durham’s 11 rushing touchdowns are tied for third in the conference and his 98.6 rushing yards per game rank 34th in the nation.
Durham has been most clutch in short-yardage situations, scoring touchdowns on fourth-down plays three times in his last three games. In Kent State’s 35-23 win at then No. 18th-ranked Rutgers, Durham ran for a career-high 131 yards, becoming the first player to top 100 yards against the Scarlet Knights this season.
The Doak Walker Award will be handed out live on the Home Depot College Football Awards Thursday, Dec. 6 on ESPN.