Washington State football superstar Rueben Mayes was unstoppable at Oregon, Oct. 27, 1984 as he led the Cougars to a 51-40 win.
Mayes established an NCAA single-game record with 357 rushing yards (39 carries). Coupled with his 216 yards against Stanford the week before, the running back's two-game total of 573 yards also set an NCAA standard.
Washington State drove 80 yards in 12 plays with the game's opening possession. Mayes gained 30 yards on six carries during the march which was capped by quarterback Mark Rypien's 1-yard touchdown run.
The Cougars extended their lead to 14-0 on their next possession when Mark Chase raced 77 yards for a score on a fake punt.
Mayes scored his first of three touchdowns in the game on a 2-yard run with 17 seconds left in the period to put Washington State on top 21-6.
After the Ducks cut the Cougars' lead to 21-12, Mayes answered with a 69-yard scamper, the longest run of his career, that put him over 100 yards in the game and increased Washington State's lead to 27-12.
An Oregon touchdown and 2-point conversion pulled the Ducks within 27-20, but again Mayes responded. He carried three times for 45 yards on a drive to set up John Traut's 26-yard field goal that made the score 30-20 heading into the lockerroom.
With the game half over, Mayes already had posted stellar numbers with 20 carries for 197 yards and two scores.
In the first minute of the final stanza, Mayes notched his third touchdown of the day, this time from 12 yards out, and the Cougars led 44-26.
Another eight-point possession for the Ducks closed the gap to 44-34 with 10:42 left in the game. The Cougars began their next drive on their 30 and called Mayes's number. His first carry was up the middle for 11 yards and then he went off right guard for 27 more to push his game total to 324.
Traut extended Washington State's lead to 47-34 with a 41-yard field goal at the 8:05 mark. A big kickoff return set Oregon up with a short field and the Ducks drove 48 yards for a touchdown, trimming their deficit to 47-41 with 5:24 to play.
The Ducks tried an on-side kick, but it was recovered by the Cougars. Washington State sealed the victory with a drive that culminated with 59 ticks on the clock on Traut's third field goal of the game. Mayes was instrumental in the drive with seven rushes for 30 yards.
Mayes was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993 as well as the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He played for the Cougars from 1982-85, and led the Pacific-10 Conference in rushing as a junior and senior. Mayes is Washington State's all-time leading rusher and is ranked sixth on the conference career rushing list with 3,519 yards.
Mayes was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round in 1986 and was named the NFL Rookie of the Year after rushing for 1,353 yards in his first year. He played with the Saints through 1991 and earned selections to the Pro Bowl in 1986 and 1987.
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