Marc Jones has had a nice start to 2017 -- the junior running back has rushed for at least 150 yards in each of his four games this year.
But that fourth game -- it was one for the record books.
Jones was leading DII football in rushing heading into the the matchup against then-No. 21 Slippery Rock. He rattled off a career-day, rushing for 354 yards and four touchdowns, while gaining another 95 yards through the air, adding one more touchdown to his day. That was good for a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference rushing record and a Gannon total yards program record.
Marc Jones broke all kinds of records today!— Gannon Athletics (@GUKnights) September 23, 2017
Game Records Broken
PSAC Rushing (354)
Gannon All-Purpose (449)
Gannon Rushing (354) pic.twitter.com/WnIjZkZzkC
“It really hasn’t sunk in," Jones said. "I didn’t know until after the game. It is a great accomplishment. My offensive line did a really good job of leading the way. They’ll get a lot of the glory, I’m taking them out to dinner this weekend.”
Slippery Rock has one of the more high-flying offenses on the DII level, with quarterback Tanner Garry throwing darts to acrobatic wide receivers Marcus Johnson and Milly Raye. Keeping that trio off the field and letting the big, 230-pound, bruising back milk the clock and play keep away wasn't a bad idea. The thought never crossed Jones' mind.
“No it did not actually," Jones said. "The way it usually shapes up, it’s whoever has the hot hand. As a leader on the team, I respect that. Sometimes the opposing team’s defense isn’t the best against the pass, and if that’s what we have to do and I have to block the whole game, then that’s what has to happen. So, I had no idea, but I’m glad it didn’t happen that way.”
Big Play Jones!— Gannon Athletics (@GUKnights) September 23, 2017
Marc Jones rips off a 41 yard run! He has 153 yards through the front half of the game! pic.twitter.com/BVVDqb6Zo4
Jones is the ultimate team player. The first thing he responds when asked about the record is, "unfortunately we didn't win." He constantly praises the work of his offensive line. His 878 rushing yards in 2017 are almost double of what he ran for in 2016. And he's just four games into the year.
“They were on top of their game," Jones said of the offensive line. "They did a good job of getting to the second level. When they are able to do that, I’m 230 pounds, so me against a safety, I think our coaching staff will take that almost any time. And we got those one-on-one matchups pretty often on Saturday.”
Now, that Jones is a PSAC football record holder. His name will be in the Gannon record book for two separate feats, and if he keeps it up, more are likely coming. To put Jones' season into persepctive, the Golden Knights running back is DII football's leadng rusher by 217 yards. He has more yards rushing than both the FBS leader (Stanford's Bryce Love with 787) and FCS leader (Western Carolina's Detrez Newsome's 557 yards).
“Honestly, I didn’t know that," Jones said. "It’s never really in my mind. I just go each week wanting to get a win and for me and the team to keep fighting. Right now we’ve only got one win under belts. We just go week by week.”
With this Marc Jones touchdown he has broken the all-time Gannon record for all-purpose yards in a game!— Gannon Athletics (@GUKnights) September 23, 2017
Brock Jones had 321 yards in 2014. pic.twitter.com/FFgNTRwhNA
Next up for Jones and the Golden Knights is Mercyhurst. As a team, the Lakers allow 152 yards a game on the ground, so Jones has another juicy matchup in store. Let's go under the helmet and find out more about the PSAC football's record-setting running back.
Favorite football movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite football team: I’m actually a Steelers fan.
Favorite player: Growing up I had a coach that was a big Oilers fan. I never really got to watch him play much aside from highlights, but Earl Campbell. He was powerful and had some huge legs, breaking tackles, never being tackled on first contact. Right now, it’s definitely LeVeon Bell.
What’s in your headphones: Meeks Mill or Drake. I don’t like to get too riled up, so some soft Drake.
Superstitions: I did in high school, but since I got to college I don’t have any superstitions. In high school I had a baseball ceiling fan and I used to hang my jersey up on it the night before. (When asked why he stopped once in college: No ceiling fan.)
Pregame meal: I always try to eat healthy going into the weekend. Obviously I’m a bigger guy, and all that running, I’m usually just a chicken and broccoli guy starting on Thursdays.
Favorite cartoon: Tom and Jerry.
Favorite TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy.
Who would play you in a movie about the Gannon football team: I do like Denzel Washington, but I think Mekhi Phifer.