Notre Dame might not be known as “Running Back U” but that doesn’t mean the Fighting Irish haven’t had their fair share of elite runners over the years. And those elite runners have had some pretty elite performances, but which Notre Dame running backs had the biggest days of all-time?
We’ve previously looked at the single game passing records for Notre Dame quarterbacks and found that throwing for a ton of yards often doesn’t mean good things for the team. How does that compare to running the ball extremely well on a given Saturday?
Here are Notre Dame’s top 10 all-time single game rushing leaders.
10. Allen Pinkett vs. Penn State (1983)
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[autotag]Allen Pinkett[/autotag] remains Notre Dame’s second all-time leading rusher to this day but his only appearance on this list is at number 10 for his 217 yard performance against Penn State in 1983. Oddly enough, Notre Dame all-time leading rusher [autotag]Autry Denson[/autotag] has no games in the top 10 all-time for Notre Dame running backs.
9. Julius Jones vs. Stanford (2003)
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[autotag]Julius Jones[/autotag] makes his first appearance on this list for his 218 yard showing against Stanford in 2003. This won’t be the last time we see Jones appear.
8. Vagas Ferguson vs. Navy (1978)
[autotag]Vagas Ferguson[/autotag] ran wild for 219 yards in Notre Dame’s 27-7 win over Navy at Cleveland’s old Municipal Stadium in 1978. We’ll be hearing from Ferguson again, too.
7. Julius Jones vs. Navy (2003)
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Jones makes his second appearance on the list for his memorable afternoon against Navy in 2003 where he ran for 221 yards. Notre Dame needed every one of those yards as a 40-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick as time expired gave the Irish a 27-24 victory.
6. Jim Stone vs. Miami (1980)
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Jim Stone ran for what was then the second-most yards ever in a game by a Notre Dame running back when he put up 224 in the 32-14 Irish victory over Miami in 1980.
5. Reggie Brooks vs. USC (1992)
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[autotag]Reggie Brooks[/autotag] saved his best for last as in his final regular season game with Notre Dame, he ran for 227 yards in 31-23 Fighting Irish victory over the USC Trojans.
4. Josh Adams vs. Boston College (2017)
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Boston College had no answer for [autotag]Josh Adams[/autotag] and Notre Dame’s stellar offensive line in 2017 when the back ran for 229 yards on 18 carries. Quarterback [autotag]Brandon Wimbush[/autotag] nearly made the top 10 that day as well as he went off for 207 more rushing yards and four scores.
3. Phil Carter vs. Michigan State (1980)
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1980 saw two different Notre Dame running backs make the list with remarkable showings. Phil Carter came just a yard from tying what was Notre Dame’s single game rushing record when he went off for 254 yards in the 26-21 victory over Michigan State.
2. Vagas Ferguson vs. Georgia Tech (1978)
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Just two weeks after putting up 219 yards against Navy, Vagas Ferguson starred again as he went off for 255 yards in Notre Dame’s 38-21 victory at Georgia Tech.
1. Julius Jones vs. Pitt (2003)
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2003 wasn’t a memorable year for Notre Dame in most regards but it did feature Julius Jones going off for over 200 rushing yards three different times. His 262 yards against Pitt that season remain the record for most by a Notre Dame running back in a single game.
Notre Dame moved to 2-3 on the year with a 20-14 victory that night in Pittsburgh.