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Benjamin set historic ASU rushing mark thanks to yards after contact

Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin (3) scores a touchdown as Oregon State cornerback Dwayne Williams (4) and linebacker Andrzej Hughes-Murray (49) defend during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin gashed the Oregon State Beavers. But often times before running untouched down the field, a defender had a shot to take him down.

They just couldn’t.

Benjamin finished ASU’s 52-24 win over the Beavers on Saturday with 312 rushing yards, a school record, on 30 carries. He scored three rushing touchdowns and added another as a receiver, but it was the how to his performance that stood out.

According to Pro Football Focus, he forced 20 missed tackles on rushes, tying a single-game recorded in the site’s database. That accounted for 177 yards after contact, and the result was 11 first down scampers.

“Eno has a knack of breaking tackles, he has really good vision. Good yards after first contact,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said Monday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf.  “He was very emotional (after the game). He talked about his teammates. He’s a humble guy, talked about obviously his offensive line and the just the joy he felt for being on this team.

“I guess his mom came to the game. I said, ‘Well, if that’s the case, we’re going to get her to come to all the games if he plays like that.'”

Benjamin wasn’t the only Sun Devil to make Pro Football Focus’ team of the week. Center Cohl Cabral earned the best grade at his position with ASU backs carrying the ball 148 yards on 12 carries (12.3 yards per attempt) when running to either side of him.

“It all starts with the guys up front,” Edwards said. “The offensive line has done a nice job the last two weeks of really getting to that second level.”

The Sun Devils finished with 396 rushing yards on 48 carries (8.3 yards per attempt) on Saturday, a week after they stuck with No. 10 Washington by running the ball 40 times for 164 yards (4.1 yards per attempt).

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