Former Tiger star C.J. Spiller hits 1,000-yard mark with fewest carries since 1934

Third former Clemson player to rush for 1,000 yards in NFL season, Spiller has highest per-carry average since Lenny Moore in 1961

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) and outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) and outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Like C.J. Spiller, Lenny Moore could do it all.

The first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Colts in 1956 out of Penn State, 'Lightning Lenny' was one the NFL most dazzling players during a career that spanned 1956-1967.

He rushed for more than 5,000 yards, caught passes for more than 6,000 yards, and in 1961 - during a transition from wide receiver to running back - averaged 7.0 yards per carry.

Over the past 51 years, no NFL running back has come close to Moore's per-carry average.

Now, Spiller is giving it a run.

If the season ended today, Spiller's 6.5 yards-per-carry mark would be the NFL's best since Moore's 7.0 average in 1961.

The former Clemson star went over the 1,000-yard mark on Sunday in Buffalo's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and became just the third former Tiger to rush for 1,000 yards or more during an NFL season.

Terry Allen did it four times - twice with the Minnesota Vikings and twice with the Washington Redskins - while Kevin Mack had one thousand-yard season with the Cleveland Browns.

Spiller, who was the ACC Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American at Clemson in 2009, had 17 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown for the Bills on Sunday in a game played in Toronto. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the year.

Spiller boosted his season numbers to 1,047 yards on 161 carries. He's scored six touchdowns, and leads the NFL in yards-per-carry.

He reached the 1,000-yard mark with the second-fewest carries in NFL history, with just 154 rushes. Chicago Bears running back Beattie Feathers is the only player to have reached 1,000 rushing yards on fewer carries and he did it in 1934.

"I tip my hat to the offensive line and the guys that have been doing the downfield blocking,” Spiller told the Bills' official website on Sunday. "I wish it would’ve come in a better form in a win. It would’ve this day a whole lot better, but it didn’t. It’s just one of those milestones I can just cross off.”

Spiller had a part in all three of Buffalo’s scoring drives, but head coach Chan Gailey said trying to play catch-up - the Bills were routed 50-17 - prevented Spiller from getting the ball as often as he would have liked.

“I thought he ran the ball well,” Gailey said. “He did some really good things. We could not get him any screen passes. We could not get him the ball in the open field like we wanted to. He made some things happen. Then we got so far behind, we just could not stick with the running game the way we wanted to.”

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Comments » 1

cuGIZ82 writes:

Spiller has been special this year...great work!!!

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