Brad Roberts has placed himself in position to join some rare company in Air Force football history.

After running for 151 yards in a win at Colorado State on Saturday, Roberts is at 1,064 yards this season. With nine more yards he’ll match the single-season rushing mark for an Air Force fullback.

If he continues his current pace through the final two regular-season games and a bowl game, Roberts would finish with 1,383. Only Beau Morgan (1,494 yards in 1996) and Chad Hall (1,478 in 2007) have rushed for more.

“It’s cool to see, but honestly I care about the wins more than the stats,” said Roberts, an in-state product from Arvada.

If ever there was a runner who could keep his pace, it is Roberts. In 14 career games, he has rushed for 100-plus yards eight times. He’s been at 90+ in two others. In fact, the only time he’s failed to run for at least 68 yards was when he was limited by injuries against San Diego State – the nation’s No. 3 rushing defense.

There are no more San Diego State defenses on a schedule that closes with Nevada and UNLV before drawing the bowl assignments. And Roberts appears to be past the ailment that slowed him midseason.

His 234 rushing attempts are one off the national lead.

“He’s kind of been able to rejuvenate his body,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said.

Calhoun has an encyclopedic mind for sports stats, often rattling off obscure numbers off the top of his head. He’s well aware of the top rushing seasons in Air Force history, particularly since he coached Hall during the 2007 season and was a former teammate of Dee Dowis, whose 1,315 yards in 1987 are the third-best in program history.

But Calhoun said he puts zero emphasis on putting someone else on that list.

“We do not at all, that’s just not something that’s a consideration,” Calhoun said. “What we do, we put a gameplan together, we say, 'Alright, how can each one of our guys factor into the gameplan?' And then once you get into a game, it all changes anyways. So carries may change. Certain plays they play in a different look, I think you have to adapt accordingly.”

Even to the offensive line, which has cheered on backs’ quests for 1,000-yard seasons many times in recent years, has remained workman-like as Roberts climbs the charts.

“Yeah, that’d be great,” said center Benjamin Mercer when asked about the possibility of Roberts claiming the single-season crown in team history (he would need to average 144 to get it). “It’d be cool to be part of something like that, but we’re not trying to break records. That’s not what we’re here for. We’re just here to win and beat the other team each week.

“But it would be cool.”


Chart toppers

Air Force's all-time leaders in single-season rushing.

1. Beau Morgan, 1996 ............................. 1,494

2. Chad Hall, 2007 ................................... 1,478

3. Dee Dowis, 1987 .................................. 1,315

4. Dee Dowis, 1989 .................................. 1,286

5. Beau Morgan, 1995 ............................. 1,285

6. Brian Bream, 1970 ............................... 1,276

7. Cody Getz, 2012 .................................. 1,248

8. Chance Harridge, 2002 ........................ 1,229

9. Keith Boyea, 2001 ................................ 1,216

10. Rob Perez, 1991 ................................ 1,157

11. Asher Clark, 2011 .............................. 1,110

12. Jacobi Owens, 2015 .......................... 1,092

13. Rodney Lewis, 1989 .......................... 1,073

14. Brad Roberts, 2021 ............................ 1,064*

15. John Kershner, 1982 ........................... 1,056

*With three games remaining, Roberts is currently on pace to rush for 1,383 yards

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