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Dri Archer: Looking At An Incredible First Five Games

Through five games, Kent State's running back/slot receiver/return specialist has scored every which way for the Golden Flashes, and he's on track to have one of the most dynamic seasons in MAC history — or perhaps in all of college football.

Through the first six weeks, there are six players who have scored 11 or more touchdowns. They're all excellent players, although I'd submit that Dri Archer is the most dynamic of them all. The others:

• Stedman Bailey: a West Virginia receiver who has caught 13 touchdowns because, well, West Virginia;
• Tevin Washington, Georgia Tech's option quarterback who has rushed for 13 touchdowns and, in fairness, passed for four more;
• Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada's running back who has ran for 11 touchdowns and caught a 12th;
• Alex Singleton, Tulsa's bruising tailback listed at 260 pounds who has muscled for 11 touchdowns;
• Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona's running back with 10 rushing touchdowns and a receiving one.

Archer has scored in all sorts of ways: five rushing, three receiving and three on kick returns. He had one of each against Eastern Michigan, and at the top you can see his pure speed on the 64-yard carry. Here's his kickoff return:

And, sure, here's his reception touchdown, a nifty grab in the back of the end zone, reviewed and upheld:

Sure, line him up at slot receiver, too. Why not.

Through five games, Archer has blazed for 230 all-purpose yards per game, which is not a record but would be the best average since Chris Johnson for ECU in 2007. But if he did keep his pace — a monstrous "if," but please play along with us — and Kent State reaches a bowl game, he would hit nearly 3000 all-purpose yards, which would be second most behind Barry Sanders' 1988 Heisman season. That's the best case, obviously. But the KSU season record is about 2,000 all-purpose yards, so Archer seems reasonably in reach of that one.

And it's not like he's compiling yards with heavy usage. In scoring 11 times, he's touched the ball only 71 times. In fact, of the nine players who have amassed 1,000 all-purpose yards, only two have fewer than 80 overall touches. (The other is Jamill Smith, who has 73 plays.) He hasn't broken through nationally yet, other than curious college football junkies, but a trip to undefeated Rutgers on October 27 might be another chance to show the country what he can do.

Could not have written this post without the help of cfbstats. Incredible resource.