Benny Snell rushes into the record books


Benny Snell Jr. #26 of the Kentucky Wildcats runs with the ball down the field during the game against Vanderbilt University on Saturday, November 11, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. Kentucky won 44 to 21. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Peyton Barnhill

Benny Snell had already become a household name before UK football’s dominating victory against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday. Now, the sophomore running back will remain in the record books at UK. 

Not only did Snell become the first player in Kentucky football history to record consecutive 1,000 rushing seasons, but he also set the record for most career touchdowns for a running back as well.

As of Saturday, Snell has accumulated 27 rushing touchdowns in his career at UK. His game against the Commodores broke the record previously held by Sonny Collins with 26.

Collins was able to set this record from the 1972 season until the 1975 season. Snell broke the record in not even two full seasons as a sophomore, and his head coach was unaware of Snell’s record setting performance. 

“I didn’t even realize that. I should’ve given him a game ball in there probably,” Mark Stoops said with a laugh.

Although he did not receive a game ball from coach, Stoops still had high praise for Snell’s work ethic and character.

“I appreciate him and what he’s done. He’s a competitive guy and he goes through some ups and some downs,” Stoops said. “That’s the way it’s gonna be when you’re a running back in the SEC. He gets some really tough yards at times. There’s times when he wants to get frustrated, but he’s really maturing and grinding his way through.”

Snell was the one with the big game, but he was not hesitant to give some credit to the big boys along the line of scrimmage.

“I’m very thankful for O-line and my tight ends. They do a great job…it’s all them,” Snell said.

Snell had waited to hold this record for quite some time. Snell has said many times he keeps his goals to himself, and breaking these records were some of those hidden goals.

“It was a long time coming. We’ve just worked so hard in practice and you know having the run schemes and I see the O-line going at it every day just fixing things and it all calms when we execute on the field,” Snell said.

Snell, for most fans, has been more than a delight the past two seasons. His 472 yards and 9 touchdowns performance the past three games has given fans a reason to be optimistic going into the final two games of the season.