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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Iowa State running back Breece Hall had a lipstick stain on his left cheek Friday night at Jack Trice Stadium.
In the second quarter of a 48-14 win over TCU, Hall ran for a 39-yard touchdown. It was his 24th-straight game scoring a rushing touchdown, which broke the FBS record for consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. It broke a record that stood for over 50 years and was set by Arkansas’ Bill Burnett in 1970.
Hall took the ball he scored the touchdown with to his mom and hugged her in the first row of the stands. That’s when she planted the kiss on her son’s left cheek.
“That run was for the record and it just showed all the hard work that myself and my team put in for me to get that record in these three years,” Hall said. “It just meant a lot. Today, I came in and I wasn’t even focused on it. I just wanted to play hard for the seniors and send the seniors out the right way. Then with everything that happened, it was like a fairytale ending for us.”
While the seniors made their plays on senior day, junior running back Hall stole the show.
Hall had a career-high 242 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. He also had two catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. The four total touchdowns was a career high for Hall.
“It was as special as I’ve seen him,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “I would hate to discredit those other 10 players because it’s Xavier (Hutchinson) with the great blocking down field that opened it up, the offensive line had a great night and Brock (Purdy) was really precise in his decision making.
“But, boy oh boy, if there’s a better running back in college football, I’d love to see him. Breece is as special as they come and if this is it for Breece Hall, then this is one heck of a way to go out. I’m really proud of him.”
Hall, who has a chance to leave for the NFL after the season, ended the first half with seven rushes for 81 yards and the touchdown.
TCU’s first drive of the second half stalled out thanks to a sack from Will McDonald, who broke his own single-season record with 11.5 sacks. The McDonald sack was followed up by a Darien Porter blocked punt to give Iowa State the ball on the TCU 38-yard line.
Hall gained all 38 yards on the ensuing Iowa State drive. He started it with a 16-yard run. After a run for no gain, Hall caught a pass in the flat, picked up a few nice blocks, made a few TCU defenders miss and ran 22 yards for the receiving touchdown.
Hall’s onslaught on TCU’s defense didn’t let up. In the fourth quarter, after a Greg Eisworth interception in the end zone, Hall ran for an 80-yard touchdown.
On the next Iowa State drive, Hall rushed the ball three times for 43 yards on three consecutive plays, capping it with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Hall’s senior teammates had no problem celebrating his accomplishments and records on what was their night.
“He can have (the spotlight),” Hutchinson, a senior, said. “When you break an NCAA record, by all means, I hope you go do it. That’s something that will last forever. I hope that record stays there for as long as possible.”
That quote in a nutshell is why Campbell thinks so highly of this senior class. On a night that was supposed to be theirs, they’re celebrating Hall.
That’s what Hall appreciates, too.
“It meant a lot for them to celebrate me,” Hall said. “I always looked up to them. I started out as a 17-year-old kid not really knowing who to look up to and those guys were always there. Guys like Brock, Mike (Rose), Greg, Charlie (Kolar) and Chase (Allen). They always pointed me in the right direction, keeping me humble and keeping me level.
“They’ve all done a lot for me and I appreciate them for that. They’ve seen me go from a childish 17-year-old kid to a less childish 20-year-old.”
While Hall got the spotlight, the seniors had some impressive plays and stats themselves.
Allen finished day with a 35-yard touchdown catch from Purdy.
Purdy finished his senior day completing 21 of 30 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns.
Hutchinson was Purdy’s favorite receiver once again. The senior had seven catches for 107 yards. His seventh catch set the Iowa State single-season record for receptions, with 82.
Kolar had five catches for 52 yards.
TCU was able to drive the ball all game but was unable to convert it into points. The Horned Frogs had 348 total yards but scored just 14 points.
Seniors Eisworth, Rose, Anthony Johnson and Jake Hummel all led the Cyclones in tackles with six.
“Just so many incredible stories,” Campbell said. “Yet, I think that's the thing that makes this thing really, really special, you know? They never let us give up. Twenty-three seniors is really what went through today and every single one of those guys, when our backs up against the wall, when the world expects us to give up because the ball didn't bounce our way, man, we just keep fighting.
“From my end of it, it was a magical night in every way, shape and form.”