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Rucker Wows in First Start

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Arkansas State freshman Corey Rucker caught nine passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday.

Arkansas State wide receiver Corey Rucker went off over the weekend, redefining what it means to be unstoppable on the football field.

In Saturday's game with Louisiana-Monroe, Rucker caught nine passes for an astonishing 310 yards and four touchdowns. Not only was it the nation's top individual showing in a weekend filled with many of them, it was one of the game's best individual performances of all time. Rucker's 310 receiving yards, a truly remarkable total, were the most by a freshman in the history of the sport.

The contest was Rucker's first career start. He promptly introduced himself with one of the most productive games college football has ever seen.

Overall, Rucker became one of just five receivers this millennium with a 300-yard, four-touchdown effort.

In addition to setting a new program record for receiving yards in a single game, Rucker's total is the most in the FBS since 2016 and the second-most in Sun Belt Conference history. He, entering the matchup with just 143 yards on the season, now ranks 12th in the league with 453 yards. Rucker is the only player in the country with at least 15 catches averaging over 27 yards per reception. He is currently at 28.3.   

With Arkansas State scoring 48 total points over the weekend, Rucker reached the endzone on touchdown hauls of 55, 30, 66 and 31 yards. He was obviously the unprecedented playmaker in a game where Layne Hatcher threw for 326 yards and Logan Bonner threw for 185 more. After catching the opening score from Bonner, Rucker promptly went on to catch three more from Hatcher. He helped his quarterbacks throw for 511 yards on the afternoon, the program's second highest total ever.  

No player in college footbal history has had a first-team debut quite like Rucker. A showing for the ages marks his first start.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports