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Rewriting the record book:

A look at the all-time FCS records Cooper Kupp may own by season’s end

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By Brad Bown, News Editor

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With the season opener in Pullman finally here, there’s a lot to be excited about for EWU football fans. Drawing the No. 14 ranking in the STATS FCS preseason poll and predicted to finish second in the Big Sky Conference, the Eagles are looking to get back to their championship form which saw them win four Big Sky Conference titles in six years and a national championship in 2010.

Aside from the aspirations for the team, EWU fans should cherish the opportunity to watch Cooper Kupp for one final season as he looks to etch his name atop the record books for nearly all major FCS receiving categories.

“[Kupp’s] the best football player that I’ve ever seen and I got the pleasure to witness him grow everyday for four years,” said former teammate Todd Raynes. “As we say on the team, he’s the GOAT!”

Kupp’s seemingly uncountable list of accolades that already includes 2015 STATS National Offensive Player of the Year, 2015 Walter Payton Award Winner and 2013 Jerry Rice Award Winner (top freshman in FCS), was recently added to after being selected as a 2016 FCS Offensive Player of the Year Candidate.

Far beyond his days of a lowly recruited player out of Yakima, WA, Kupp’s record setting play on the field has gained national attention, and has recently been touted by Fox Sports in a glowing 6000 word feature as “The best college football player you’ve never heard of.”

“He is one of the best men that I have come to know, a true friend and a man of God,” said Raynes. “Someone that you can always count on in any situation of life to be there for you.”

GoEags, the official site of EWU athletics, lists Kupp already holding eight Big Sky Conference records, 18 school records and seven FCS records, all of which he’s expected to add to in his senior season.

Although Kupp isn’t one to look for the spotlight or boast about records, it’s time to take a closer look at what could be a record setting season for one of the all-time great FCS careers. Here are some of the FCS records Cooper Kupp will be chasing this season:

Most receptions (career)

395 – Terrell Hudgins, Elon, 2006-09

311 – Cooper Kupp (currently)

This should be a mark that Kupp can reach this season, although it won’t be one of the easiest. Only needing 84 receptions to reach the record, Kupp has averaged 104 receptions per season over the last three years.

Most receptions (season)

136 – Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois, 2012

114 – Cooper Kupp, 2015 (best season)

This record will require Kupp to improve on his Big Sky record setting season of 114 receptions in 2015. With the Eagles failing to reach the post-season last year after losing their final three games, the team only played 11 games, which was down from 15 in 2013 and 13 in 2014. Making a run at the FCS National Championship would be good for the team, the fans and Kupp’s chances of breaking this record.

Most receptions (game)

24 – Chas Gessner, Brown vs. Rhode Island, Oct. 5, 2002; and Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley vs. Southern, Oct. 1, 1983

20 – Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington University vs. Northern Colorado, Oct. 24, 2015

Another record that will require Kupp to go above and beyond his already spectacular play. He flirted with the mark last year with 20 receptions against Northern Colorado in a herculean-type effort to help the Eagles win 43-41 on the road. It will probably take another high scoring shootout and a little bit of magic to get there.

Most consecutive games with a reception

45 – Marcus Lee, Towson, 2005-08

39 – Cooper Kupp, 2013-present

Cooper Kupp hasn’t gone a game in his career since he first stepped foot on the Red Turf without getting a reception. Unless if a team puts five guys on him, this shouldn’t change. Heck even then.

Most yards receiving (career)

5,250 – Terrell Hudgins, Elon, 2006-09

4,764 – Cooper Kupp, 2013-present

486 yards to go, count on it. This record may be broken even before the fall quarter begins.

Most yards receiving (season)

1,850 – Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington University, 2012

1,691 – Cooper Kupp, 2013 (best season)

Given Kupp’s pace of 149 yards per game last season, this record could’ve been broken last year with the addition of post-season games.  A run towards the National Championship would help Kupp reach this mark. Eagle’s fans may remember EWU’s Brandon Kaufman setting the record in 2012 and then forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Most yards receiving (game)

376 – Kassim Osgood, Cal Poly vs UNI, Nov. 4, 2000

275 – Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington University vs. Northern Colorado, Oct. 24, 2015 (best game)

If this record is to be broken, the same scenario mentioned in most receptions per game will probably have to happen. Wouldn’t that be quite the day?

Highest receiving yards per game (career)

116.7 – Terrell Hudgins, Elon, 2006-09

122.2 – Cooper Kupp, 2013-present

Kupp currently holds this record at the moment and simply has to finish out his senior season near his average. Given that he averaged 149.3 yards per game last year, he should be holding this record at season’s end.

Highest receiving yards per game (season)

168.2 – Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley, 1984

149.3 – Cooper Kupp, 2015 (best season)

Nobody said breaking a Jerry Rice receiving record would be easy. Kupp averaged a ridiculous 149.3 yards per game in 2015, but that was still roughly 19 yards per game short of The GOAT’s mark set in 1984. If Kupp is to make a run at this record, it will truly be something special to watch.

Most games with 100 yards receiving (career)

28 – Terrell Hudgins, Elon, 2006-09

23 – Cooper Kupp, 2013-present

Teams haven’t found a gameplan to stop him yet, and there’s no reason to believe this year will be any different. Given that Kupp hasn’t had a season with less than seven games of 100 yards receiving, this should be another record he owns at the end of the season.

Most receiving touchdowns (career)

58 – David Ball, New Hampshire, 2003-06

56 – Cooper Kupp, 2013-present

This record is a mere formality at this point. Given Kupp’s track record against Pac 12 schools (15 receptions, 246 yards, 3 touchdowns vs. Oregon; 8 receptions, 145 yards, 3 touchdowns vs. Washington; 5 receptions, 119 yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Oregon State), this record may be reached by the first half of the first game vs. Washington State.

Most receiving touchdowns (season)

27 – Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley, 1984

21 – Cooper Kupp, 2013 (best season)

With the defense still having question marks about their ability to stop teams, the Eagles could find themselves in some high scoring shootouts again, which would help Kupp’s chances of topping Rice’s 31 year standing record.

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Rewriting the record book:”

  1. Cary Rosenbaum on September 21st, 2016 4:50 pm

    Nice column, Brad. Keep up the good work.

    [Reply]

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