Sims becomes second Jayhawk to reach rushing milestone

Waco, Texas — Even with the dreary weather and a 41-14 loss to the Baylor Bears, Kansas junior running back James Sims continues to be the bright spot on the offense.

For the first time since 1974, a Jayhawk running back has reached the 100-yard plateau in five consecutive games. The only other Jayhawk to do so was Laverne Smith, who hit that mark during his sophomore season with the Jayhawks.

Tyler Roste/KANSAN
Running back James Sims springs downfield. Sims ran for 178 yards in the loss against Texas on Saturday, Oct. 28.

He wouldn’t have been able to do it without the five offensive linemen who block for him.

“I give all the credit to the offensive line. They did an amazing job up front and won the line of scrimmage,” Sims said. “I ran behind them and they gave me the holes and I just ran through them.”

Sims ran through those holes for 136 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark during the first half, as he rushed for 116 yards and his lone touchdown.

Coach Charlie Weis said Sims is the Jayhawk workhorse and he’s getting a lot of opportunities to run the ball because the offense has been ineffective.

During the five straight games that Sims has had 100 yards, his workload has been steady. He’s carried the ball 162 times for 667 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior tackle Tanner Hawkinson is one of the key reasons why Sims has been able to reach the 100-yard mark in five of the six games he has played.

Hawkinson said having a back like Sims makes his job — and the job of the rest of the line —  a lot easier.

“You know you can just go out there and just stay on your blocks and he’ll be able to produce. He’s going to be able to make some big runs like he did tonight,” Hawkinson said. “He’s obviously a great back and a great asset to us.”

Hawkinson said that Sims is able to make something happen on a routine basis, which speaks to how good he truly is. Hawkinson also said that Sims keeps improving each game.

“It’s just the way he comes out every game. It just seems like he’s running harder from game to game,” Hawkinson said. “It’s his work ethic that transpired from a great offseason that has definitely paid off for him.”

The thing that really stands out about Sims is the fact that he has rushed for 622 yards this season in just six games. Last year, he rushed for 727 yards in 12 games and he rushed 742 yards in 11 games during his freshman season.

The statistics speak well for Sims, and Weis recognizes what he has been able to do.

“He’s as good as I’ve seen in this league,” Weis said.

  • Updated Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm
  • Edited by Nikki Wentling