When the Rams run onto the field at Pacific Bell Park in San
Francisco to face Boston College in the Diamond Walnut San
Francisco Bowl they will find a 5-foot-9-inches, 205-pound obstacle
blocking their path to victory. That obstacle is senior running
back Derek Knight.
Knight is the fuel behind the mighty Boston College offense that
averages 407.8 yards and 27.9 points per game. The 2003 season has
been a memorable one for Knight, as he averages 133.2 rushing yards
per game and has totaled 1,599 on the year. With 26 receptions, he
has proven there is more to him than his ground game – he also
averages 18.9 receiving yards per game and accumulating 152.2 yards
of total offense per contest.
Those numbers not only lead the Big East Conference, but also
ranked him No. 3 in rushing in the nation. He rushed for 197 yards
when the Eagles knocked off then-No. 12 Virginia Tech and became
Boston College’s all-time rushing leader with 3,603 career rushing
CSU head coach Sonny Lubick is a keeping the strength of the
Eagle’s running game in mind as he prepares his team for the San
“Boston College is a solid team. They are going to be physical
and try to run the ball,” Lubick said. “They have a very good
running back and are sound all the way around.”
CSU has been fairly successful at stopping the run this season,
only giving up 156.1 yards on the ground per game. Twice they have
held teams to less than 100 yards rushing when California ran for
51yards and Weber State ran for 79 yards.
A weakness in the Rams’ run defense was exposed against New
Mexico, as Lobos’ running back DonTrell Moore racked up 242 yards
with three touchdowns. His numbers contributed to the 319 rushing
yards the Lobos gained on the ground in their 37-34 victory.
Knight has staged similar performances, accumulating a
career-high 224 and three touchdowns in a 35-25 victory over
Rutgers and 175 yards and one touchdown in a 53-29 win over Ball
Games like those provide evidence that running backs can win
games by shutting down opposing defenses. If the Rams plan on
getting back on the winning track in bowl games after last year’s
embarrassing 17-3 loss to Texas Christian, one thing is certain:
they must find a hole in Knight’s suit of armor.