One day after he put on one of the best single-game rushing performances in University of Tennessee at Martin football history, Abou Toure was crowned adidas Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week today.
A 6-2, 230-pound senior out of Framingham, Mass., Toure had 29 carries for 234 yards and three touchdowns – all career-highs – to help the Skyhawks to a 62-38 win at Murray State. It extended UT Martin’s winning streak to four games and was the ninth win in the last 10 tries against the Racers.
Toure’s 234 yards ranked as the third-best rushing performance in UT Martin history, trailing only Don Chapman’s 272 yards at Southeast Missouri in 2004 and Bobby Fowler’s 253 yards against West Georgia in 1958. Toure’s previous career-high in yardage was 128 against Tennessee Tech on Oct. 9, 2014. Toure was the first Skyhawk to gain at least 200 yards in a game since Brandyn Young tallied 213 yards against Eastern Illinois in 2008.
On Saturday, Toure had four rushes of at least 20 yards – including a long of 40 yards in the third quarter. He gained 99 yards in the third quarter alone and scored a touchdown in the first, third and fourth quarters. Overall, he averaged 8.1 yards per carry and only had one rush for negative yardage (minus-1 yard on his first carry of the second quarter). It was his fourth 100-plus yard rushing game of the season and sixth of his Skyhawk career.
Toure and a remarkable effort by the Skyhawk offensive line resulted in 402 team rushing yards for UT Martin, piling up the most yards on the ground since Nov. 10, 2007 – a span of 79 games.
UT Martin will step out of conference play next weekend, traveling to Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 8. The Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 1 in both major Football Bowl Subdivision polls. Kickoff time from Davis Wade Stadium is set for 3 p.m. while the game will be nationally televised on the SEC Network.