On Monday, the Mountain West Conference announced that San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny has won the league’s Offensive Player of the Week award for the fifth time this season. The Norwalk native now has an Aztec-record eight Mountain West Player of the Week awards in his career, with six of those coming this season (five offensive awards, one special teams award).
Penny dominated from the get-go on Saturday, scampering for touchdowns of 13 and 82 yards in the game’s first seven minutes. In the first quarter, he alone totaled 144 yards rushing as SDSU marched to a big lead. He perhaps delivered the final dagger into the hearts of the Spartans with his final run of the day, a 64 yard TD run with 12:27 to go in the third quarter. The run catapulted the Aztecs to a 42-7 lead, erasing any hopes that the San Jose faithful had of a comeback.
The 5’11”, 220 pound running back finished the day with 234 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 20 carries. It was his second 200+ yard rushing game in as many weeks. In the previous week’s game vs. Hawaii, Penny ran for a career-best 253 yards on 30 carries.
The last two performances have propelled Penny to the top of the FBS ranks in rushing yards, with 1602. He has now reached paydirt 15 times on the season, which ranks third in the country. Just last week, it was announced that he had been named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award. The Maxwell Award is given to college football’s best all-around player. Penny joins a handful of prestigious players who were also named semifinalists, such as Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Stanford’s Bryce Love, and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.
The San Diego State RB also figures to be named a semifinalist for the 2017 Doak Walker Award, an award which is given to the nation’s top running back. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on November 15, and finalists for the award will be named on November 20. Penny hopes to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate Donnel Pumphrey, who was named a finalist last season.
The San Diego State Aztecs have their bye week this week. With only two weeks left in the regular season, they will then return to play on November 18 vs. Nevada and conclude their campaign on November 24 vs. New Mexico.