Archive for Sunday, November 30, 2003

Mizzou returner James sets another record

November 30, 2003

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— Zack Abron wasn't the only record breaker in Missouri's regular-season finale.

Quietly, Marcus James set his second career record for returns in Saturday's 45-7 victory over Iowa State. He has 1,765 yards to break the mark of 1,692 by Mike Fink from 1970 to 72, after setting a career record for attempts earlier in the year.

Two of James' best returns, 36 and 26 yards, came in the first half and helped ignite a stagnant offense. Missouri went scoreless in the first quarter for the second straight game before James' 36-yarder set up a 19-yard run by Brad Smith.

"Our offense was struggling a little bit early," James said. "I know what we can do once we get a little head start. I just tried to serve as jumper cables for our offense."

James has a career average of 12.3 yards on punt returns. He entered the game ranked 13th in Division One this season and is averaging a career-best 15.2 yards this year.

"I've gone against some of the top punt returners in the nation, and we've done a good job of containing them, but he did a great job today," Iowa State wide receiver Lane Danielsen said. "He's small and shorter, and he's tough to get your hands on. He runs through hand tackles."

Earlier in the year, against Kansas University, James broke the combined returns mark, also previously held by Fink. He has 123 career returns, 12 more than Fink.

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