Rainey re-writes record books in WKU win


Senior running back Bobby Rainey broke school records for both career and single-season rushing yardage on Saturday in WKU’s 41-18 win over Troy.

Brad Stephens

Bobby Rainey was asked Saturday afternoon about his record day.

The senior running back had just eclipsed school milestones for both career and single-season rushing yardage in a 41-18 win over Troy.

Rainey began to talk about his appreciation of the history of his accomplishments when junior quarterback Kawaun Jakes interrupted him.

“Can I answer this one real quick?” Jakes asked. “I know he probably wasn’t worried about the record. During the week I didn’t hear him speak on it… He just wanted to come out and win, and I’m happy for him. His mindset as a Topper, he thinks about the team first.”

Both Rainey and his team were celebrating after WKU handled the Trojans on Saturday at Smith Stadium in their regular season finale.

The win was the Toppers’ seventh of the year, including seven straight in Sun Belt Conference play, and clinched WKU’s first winning season since the program moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2009.

The Toppers were led in the win by Rainey, who ran for 227 yards on 43 carries with three touchdowns on his Senior Day.

 A 28-yard Rainey gallop in the second quarter allowed him to break former WKU running back Lerron Moore’s 4,396-yard school career rushing record.

Then in the fourth he passed former Topper running back Joe Arnold’s single-season rushing mark of 1,668 yards.

Rainey finished the 2011 regular season with 1,695 yards for the year and 4,542 for his career.

He could have a chance to add to both totals should WKU go to a bowl game.

“Right now it still really hasn’t hit me,” Rainey said of the records. “It’s just a blessing to be a part of history.”

Head Coach Willie Taggart has spoke in the past of how valuable Rainey is to his team and to the program as a whole.

Rainey leads the nation in rushing and earned his third Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday.

But Taggart said his favorite of his running back’s accomplishments is that Rainey rushed for more yards this year than he did last season, when he ran for 1,649.

“You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse,” Taggart said. “Nobody stays the same.

“I don’t think Bobby was really concentrating on the record. He was concentrating on getting 200 yards so he could have more yards than he had last year… That’s kind of what he did. He not only got it, he wrecked it.”

Rainey, who has credited much of his success during his time at WKU to the offensive line, said he’ll take them out to dinner now that he broke the career rushing record.

Between the rushing records and his team’s Senior Day win, he also said he couldn’t have pictured a better way for his last home game to play out.

“Just being without the seniors, man, knowing where we’d been and where we’re trying to go, it’s just been great,” he said. “It’s just been a great ride.”