5. Laurence Maroney & Marion Barber III, Minnesota (2004-05)
Here’s a bruising combination fit for the Big Ten. Still, Barber III and Maroney were an oddity in modern-day backfields. Usually, running backs that share carries have contrasting style – as in, thunder and lightning. But these two Gophers both love to run between the tackles and prefer to finish runs by inflicting punishment instead of absorbing it. Each ran for over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons – the first-ever pair to do so. In fact, they gained 4,934 yards between them in those two seasons. But somehow, the Gophers only had a 2004 Music City Bowl victory to show for it. Gopher football, everyone!
4. Eric Dickerson & Craig James, SMU (1979-82)
“The Pony Express” is perhaps one of the most-famous running back duos of all-time. They represented the last great era of SMU football, a program that has been stunted by the NCAA’s “death penalty.” But in their hey-day, Dickerson and James led the pack for the powerful Mustangs, rushing for a combined 8,193 yards in their four years together. That’s an astounding number. But the contributions from James are even more shocking considering his teammate, Dickerson, proved to be one of the greatest NFL running backs of all-time. Put it this way: You know you have a great pair of backs when Dickerson hasn’t earned all the carries.
3. Darren McFadden & Felix Jones, Arkansas (2005-07)
The Razorbacks’ lighting and more lightning backfield from 2005-07 is nearly unfathomable. McFadden and Jones were so prolific that they forced Peyton Hillis, the current starting running back for the Cleveland Browns, to play fullback, tight end and, sometimes, wide receiver. Both currently start in the NFL – Jones with the Cowboys and McFadden with the Raiders – and have become dynamic talents. But their time in college will serve as the ultimate boost to their resumes. They finished with over 7,500 yards and notched 61 TDs during their tenure together.
As seniors In their final season, they nearly combined for 3,000 yards rushing (McFadden 1,830, Jones 1,162). No, that’s not a misprint.
2. LenDale White & Reggie Bush, USC (2003-05)
These two are the best by the numbers. They combined for 3,042 yards in 2005, an NCAA record, and compiled 99 career touchdowns – also an all-time mark. Bush won the Heisman in 2005, and the Trojans won the national championship in 2004 and lost in the title game a year later. In ’05, they combined for a ridiculous 40 rushing touchdowns. What else can be forced onto the collective resume of this pair? Well, they were the perfect complements for each other, with Bush being a human highlight reel in the open field, while White was the short-yardage sledgehammer. Even so, they couldn’t top …
1. Doc Blanchard & Glenn Davis, Army (1944-46)
How could it be any duo other than “Mr. Inside” (Blanchard) and “Mr. Outside” (Davis)? With Army in its glory years, Blanchard and Davis formed a two-headed monster that helped the Black Knights go 27-0-1 in three seasons and win two national titles. Their rushing stats aren’t mind-boggling (Blanchard won the Heisman in ‘45 with 718 rushing yards and Davis won it a year later with 714 rushing yards), but they did combine for 37 touchdowns in 1945. And keep in mind this was a different era, they barely played in second halves and Army only played nine games in 1945. As their coach Red Blaik once put it, “There is no comparing them with anyone else. They were the best.”
Pages: 1 2