College football may be a team sport, but that just makes stellar individual performances that more thrilling.
We scoured the NCAA record books for the most impressive individual FBS marks that will (probably) never be broken:
22 rushes in a quarter
Alex Smith, Indiana — Nov. 11, 1995 vs. Michigan State
Indiana was having a tough season in 1995. Heading into a November matchup with Michigan State, the Hoosiers had won just two games on the year — against Western Michigan and Southern Mississippi. So, after a three-game stretch of losing to ranked teams, Indiana tried something different against the Spartans: Give the ball to running back Alex Smith. Again. Again. Again.
For reference, two weeks into the 2018-19 college football season, teams are averaging 71.3 offensive plays per game. That’s 17.8 per quarter. Smith had 22 rushes in the first quarter.
The plan worked in one regard: Michigan State only had possession for 24 seconds in the first quarter. Unfortunately, those 24 seconds came via a 59-yard touchdown run by Marc Renaud on the first play to give Michigan State a 7-0 lead. Indiana would lose the game 31-13, but Smith finished with 183 yards and one touchdown in 44 carries. Oh, and he did it all with broken ribs.
36 punts in a game
Charlie Calhoun, Texas Tech — Nov. 11, 1939 vs. Centenary (LA).
This one is pretty hard to wrap your head around. Last year, Wyoming’s Tim Zaleski led the NCAA with 87 punts on the season in 13 games. That’s 6.7 punts per game, which is a huge total.
Calhoun had 36. In one game. Thirty. Six. Punts.
Oh, before we forget, there’s a sort of important side note: 33 of those punts were on first down.
According to the record book, the game was played in a heavy downpour in Shreveport, Louisiana. Neither team could advance the ball at all on offense, so each resorted to punting it downfield whenever they had it. The plan was for the miserable conditions to result in a fumble on the return that they could pick up in order to advance field position.
That strategy worked six times throughout the game, but none led to a score. There were only 30 yards of total offense, and the game ended, mercifully, in a 0-0 tie.
7 touchdown receptions in a game
Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State — Sept. 20, 2003, vs. SMU
Woods played in 48 games in his career, and recorded 42 touchdowns in them. That’s an average of 0.88 touchdowns per game. So yeah, this stat line from a matchup with SMU his senior season is a bit absurd: 12 receptions, 232 yards, seven receiving touchdowns.
Those came on catches of 2, 10, 34, 32, 25, 5, and 11 yards. Oklahoma State would win 52-6. Woods was responsible for 72.4 percent of the points scored that game.
The wideout would only have six touchdown catches in the other 12 games that season. Respectable, sure, but unfortunately beneath the ridiculous bar he set for himself in the fourth game of the season.
7,000 combined rushing and receiving yards in a career
Darrin Nelson, Stanford — 1978-1981
At Stanford, Nelson was on the team that first popularized the West Coast offense, carving out a new role for running backs. He became the first player to rush for 1,000 yards and catch 50 passes in a season. Then he did it two more times.
All that led to Nelson finishing his career with 4,442 yards rushing, and 2,550 yards receiving for a grand total of 7,001 yards. It helped to have John Elway throwing the ball.
That record should be safe for a long time. The runner-up in combined rushing and receiving yards is Steve Bartolo of Colorado State, who had 5,892 total yards (4,813 yards rushing and 1,079 receiving) from 1983-86.
31 consecutive games gaining 100 yards or more
Archie Griffin, Ohio State — Sept. 15, 1973 to Nov. 22, 1975
When Archie Griffin won the Heisman in 1974, he was just the fifth junior ever to take home the trophy. A year later, he became the only player to ever win it twice.
That 1974 year saw Griffin run for at least 100 yards in every single game. For the second season in a row.
He racked up 3,272 rushing yards in those two seasons, and another 1,450 his senior year in 1975, where he rushed for at least 100 yards in eight straight games to start the year.
3 punts returned for touchdowns in a game
Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma — Sept. 20, 2003 vs. UCLA
Coming into the fourth game of the season, Perkins had just 80 yards on 13 punt returns that year. So when UCLA’s first drive stalled, they had no qualms punting directly to him. Perkins returned it 19 yards. A solid pickup, but nothing noteworthy.
Then, later in the second quarter, UCLA went three-and-out, and punted again. Perkins took this one 74 yards to the house.
No worries, it was a fluke. UCLA punted again the next drive, and Perkins returned it just eight yards. That’s more like it.
Then the Bruins punted a fourth time. Perkins, 84 yards, touchdown.
“(Punter Chris) Kluwe tried kicking away from Perkins after his second touchdown, eliciting a chorus of boos from the crowd. The Bruins also tried other tactics: Mil'Von James hit Perkins as he fielded a punt late in the third quarter, drawing a 15-yard penalty."
Finally, down 52-24 in the fourth quarter, the Bruins punted for the ninth time of the game. Perkins gratefully returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.
That last punt broke two FBS records: for punt return touchdowns in a game, and for punt return yardage, with Perkins’ 277 shattering the then-record of 219.
94-for-94 on extra points in a season
Roberto Aguayo, Florida State — 2013
In 2013, Aguayo took over as the starting kicker for the Seminoles after Dustin Hopkins graduated. The freshman had ridiculous shoes to fill. Hopkins was 202-for-207 on extra points in his career, and went 65-for-66 in 2012.
Aguayo took 94 extra point attempts as a freshman. He made every single one. For a little perspective, since the turn of the century, only three players have even attempted 90 extra points. Aguayo, Houston's Matt Hogan (92) in 2011, and Oklahoma's Jimmy Stevens, who set the FBS record with 99 attempts in 2008, but made just 94.
Aguayo would finish his career a perfect 198-for-198, leaving for the NFL Draft after his junior season.