Cardinal Numbers: "Dynamic Duo"

Feeding the need of those of us irreversibly obsessed with the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of Stanford Football-related data, The Bootleg's Senior Statistician Terry Johnson takes a look at one of the most dynamic duos ever to grace our gridiron. Read on for "Terry2"'s take on where 2008's combination of Gerhart & Kimble ranks among the Card's all-time great rushers.

Plunkett & Vataha . . . Bookman & Mitchell . . . Husak & Walters . . . Jason & Jarron . . . Brook & Robin . . . Hewlett & Packard . . . Brin & Page . . . Rutter & Ahlstrom . . . Jane & Leland . . . names that are linked together forever in Stanford history.

Now we can add another pair of names to the list: Gerhart and Kimble.

In 2008, Toby Gerhart and Anthony Kimble were the top running back combination in Stanford history. The two of them combined for 1,853 rushing yards, the most rushing yards ever by two Stanford players in one season. Previously, Tommy Vardell and Glyn Milburn held the distinction as the top one-two punch among Stanford running backs, combining for 1,682 rushing yards in 1991. Now, Gerhart and Kimble top the list:

Top RB Combinations – Most Rushing Yards
(1,350 or more yards)
1.Toby Gerhart & Anthony Kimble2008  1,853
2.Tommy Vardell & Glyn Milburn19911,682
3.Darrin Nelson & John Finley19771,525
4.Darrin Nelson & Phil Francis19781,516
5.Glyn Milburn & Ellery Roberts19921,478
6.Anthony Bookman & Mike Mitchell   19951,465
7.Darrin Nelson & Vincent White19811,431
8.Anthony Bookman & Mike Mitchell19971,397
9.Brian Allen & Kerry Carter20011,355

Gerhart and Kimble played 12 games, while most of the other RB combinations in Stanford history played only 10 or 11 games. The school record book is based on season totals, regardless of the number of games played, but still, it's fair to wonder how Gerhart and Kimble would stack up in a yards per game comparison. It turns out that even if we look at yards per game rather than the total yards, Gerhart and Kimble still are the top combination in school history:

Top RB Combinations – Most Rushing Yards Per Game
(130 or more yards per game)
   YearRushing Yards
Per Game
1.Toby Gerhart & Anthony Kimble2008  154.4
2.Tommy Vardell & Glyn Milburn1991152.9
3.Darrin Nelson & John Finley1977138.6
4.Darrin Nelson & Phil Francis1978137.8
5.Anthony Bookman & Mike Mitchell   1995133.2
6.Darrin Nelson & Vincent White1981130.1

Individually, Gerhart and Kimble had two of the best seasons by running backs in Stanford history.

Gerhart broke or tied three Stanford rushing records. Most notably, of course, Gerhart's 1,136 rushing yards broke Vardell's school record for rushing yards in a season. Gerhart also broke Vardell's record for most games in a season with 100 or more rushing yards (8). He tied the school record for most rushing TDs in a game (4, tied with Vardell, Darrin Nelson, and Kerry Carter). In addition, Gerhart's 15 rushing TDs were the second-most rushing TDs in a season in school history, behind Vardell's 20 TDs in 1991. Gerhart's 90 points scored were the sixth- most points scored in a season in school history.

Kimble also had a fine season. Although Kimble finished second on the team in rushing this year after leading the team in each of the two previous seasons, this nevertheless was Kimble's best season. His 717 rushing yards were the 20th-most rushing yards in a season in Stanford history. Kimble became only the third Stanford player to average six or more yards per attempt on at least 100 rushing attempts, after Anthony Bookman, who averaged 6.6 yards per attempt in 1997, and Darrin Nelson, who averaged 6.4 yards per attempt in 1978. For his career, Kimble ended up eighth in school history in career rushing yards, with 1,940 yards, and tied for sixth in school history in career rushing TDs, with 18.

Here are the detailed statistics for each of the running back combinations mentioned above:

Top RB Combinations – Detailed Statistics
Year Att.YardsYds/
2008Toby Gerhart2101,1365.494.715
 Anthony Kimble1207176.059.86
1991Tommy Vardell2261,0844.898.520
 Glyn Milburn1315984.654.43
1977Darrin Nelson1831,0695.897.23
 John Finley1144564.041.53
1978Darrin Nelson1671,0616.496.56
 Phil Francis1064554.341.44
1992Glyn Milburn1778514.870.98
 Ellery Roberts1326274.852.36
1995Anthony Bookman1818724.879.33
 Mike Mitchell1295934.653.96
1981Darrin Nelson1921,0145.392.211
 Vincent White724175.837.91
1997Anthony Bookman1228006.672.77
 Mike Mitchell1525973.954.34
2001Brian Allen1748995.281.79
 Kerry Carter1234563.741.59

Statistics are based on Stanford's annual media guides, which include statistics going back to 1951.

My thanks to Jim Rutter and Steve Durrett, who graciously provided research for this analysis.

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