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Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Poll: Pac-12's rushing leader in 2013?

By Ted Miller

We've been reviewing Pac-12 statistical leaders from 2012 who are coming back in 2013. Now it's your turn.

After polling you on who will lead the conference in passing in 2013 -- 42 percent say Oregon's Marcus Mariota -- we move on to who will lead the conference in rushing.

As previously noted, the Pac-12 is replacing many of its big names at running back, including Oregon's Kenjon Barner, UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, Stanford's Stepfan Taylor and Utah's John White, who each eclipsed the 1,000-yard benchmark in 2012.

The returning 1,000-yard rushers are:
Both these guys burst onto the scene last year, with Carey leading the nation in rushing and earning All-American honors. Sankey has an experienced offensive line coming back and a veteran QB supporting him, which Carey doesn't.

Of course, past results don't guarantee future returns. There are plenty of other candidates.

Oregon State's Storm Woods rushed for 941 yards last year, and the Beavers look strong -- finally! -- on the offensive line.

USC's Silas Redd rushed for 905 yards last year while sharing the ball with Curtis McNeal. McNeal is gone, and the Trojans might lean on the running game more while breaking in a new starting QB.

That said, Redd likely will still share carries with a solid crew of youngsters behind him.

As for our "other" category, that likely starts with whoever becomes Oregon's primary back. At this point, that looks like De'Anthony Thomas, though it remains to be seen if he's best used as an every-down RB or as a slash guy who plays receiver, too.

Might Tyler Gaffney separate himself from Stanford's other RBs? The rugged Cardinal offensive line is capable of opening big holes for anyone and coach David Shaw prefers to run the ball.

Lots of good choices.