By LARRY VAUGHT
Benny Snell is putting his name into the Kentucky record book — he needs just 107 yards to become UK’s all-time leading rusher — as well as the Southeastern Conference record book.
However, despite three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons, he was not named as one of the Doak Walker Award finalists Monday. The award goes to the nation’s top running back and the three finalists are Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Memphis’ Darrell Henderson and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor.
All three finalists certainly have credentials to back up their inclusion as Doak Walker Award finalists.
— Henderson has rushed for 1,521 yards, which leads the AAC and is second in the country. He is also second in the country in yards per carry (8.7), rushing touchdowns (17) and total touchdowns (20). Henderson also has the third-most rushing yards in a single-season at Memphis.
— Taylor is the nation’s leading rusher with 1,869 yards and has scored 15 touchdowns this season. His average of 169.9 yards per game is 31.6 higher than any other FBS player and has Taylor on pace to rush for 2,209 yards in 13 games. Only six players in FBS history have run for 2,200 yards in a season.
Taylor has topped the 100-yard mark in 10 of 11 games this season, including four 200-yard efforts.
— Etienne is the leading rusher and scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He has 1,307 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns this season and is averaging 7.97 yards per carry.
Snell has rushed for 1,305 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He now has 46 career rushing touchdowns to go with three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons — something no other UK player has ever done. But it wasn’t enough and a six-game stretch where he had just one 100-yard rushing game before finishing with two straight likely kept him from going from semifinalist to finalist even though he got my vote.
The winner will be announced at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 on ESPN as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show.