CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor on Saturday became the third player in FBS history to reach 5,000 rushing yards before the end of his junior season -- and the fastest to reach the milestone.
The 2018 Doak Walker Award winner as the nation's top running back, Taylor finished with 132 rushing yards and a touchdown on 28 carries during the Badgers' 24-23 loss. It gave him 28 career 100-yard rushing games, the second most in Wisconsin history behind Ron Dayne (33). Taylor also has nine career 200-yard rushing games.
James had been the fastest to 5,000 rushing yards, needing 755 carries. Taylor did so in 736 carries.
Prior to 2002, the NCAA did not recognize statistics earned in bowl games. That precludes Dayne from being on the list of running backs who rushed for 5,000 yards before the end of their junior season.
"I've seen highlights of those guys," Taylor told ESPN this week. "Just watching those guys, you could tell they were some of the most dominant to ever play college football. Those are the best to ever do it, and it's an honor to be mentioned among those men."
Taylor already owns the FBS record for most rushing yards through the first two seasons in college, as he racked up 4,171 yards by the end of his sophomore season, 430 more than Walker. Taylor needs 13 yards to pass Montee Ball for second place on Wisconsin's career rushing list, behind only Dayne, the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner (7,125 yards).
Taylor, a junior, now has 5,128 career rushing yards on 763 carries.