Though he had some setbacks along the way, Saquon Barkley still managed to break the Penn State record for most rushing yards in a season by a freshman Saturday in the Nittany Lions' 55-16 loss at MIchigan State.
With his 103 yards in 17 carries, Barkley now has 1,007 yards for the season. That broke D.J. Dozier's freshman mark of 1,002 yards set in 1983.
The 5-foot-11, 222-pound Barkley got the record despite missing 2 ½ games with an injury, believed to be to his ankle, suffered in a Sept. 26 game against San Diego State. He returned to the lineup with a 194-yard rushing performance at Ohio State on Oct. 17.
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg called Barkley's achievement "awesome."
"He's worked extremely hard," he said. "He's done a great job all year for us. So congratulations to him. I'm sure he's hurting right now so he's just going to be focusing in on what he has to do to make sure that he comes out for the bowl game, and play at a high level just like the rest of us."
Head coach James Franklin said Barkley was one of the few positives in the game.
"He's a talented guy," he said. "He's an example of a guy who came in here with the right attitude and tremendous ability. He's worked really, really hard. When his opportunity came, he took advantage of it. He has a lot of skills in terms of size, speed and ability to make people miss. It's something real positive to build in for our future."