Coming off UM win, MSU's Walker earns major national award

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III on Sunday was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week after his performance in the Spartans’ 37-33 victory over Michigan.

The junior ran for 197 yards and scored all five Michigan State touchdowns, the most rushing touchdowns ever by an opponent against Michigan. Walker, the nation’s leader in rushing yards per game, averaged 8.6 yards a carry and scored on runs of 27 and 8 yards in the first half before adding 1, 58 and 23-yard runs in the second.

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III runs into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown, with Michigan's Brad Hawkins defending, in the fourth quarter.

His five rushing touchdowns tied for the second most in school history with Javon Ringer behind six from Blake Ezor vs. Northwestern in 1989. Walker’s 197 rushing yards were the third most by a Spartan against Michigan, behind T.J. Duckett with 211 yards in 2001, and DeAndra Cobb with 205 in 2004.

Walker, who became the fastest Spartan to reach 1,000 yards in a season, leads the FBS in rushing yards per game with 149.2. He also ranks among the FBS leaders in total rushing yards (second with 1,194), rushing touchdowns (third with 14), scoring (third with 11.2 ppg), total touchdowns (third with 15), total points (fourth with 90), all-purpose yards (fifth with 153.8 ypg) and yards per carry (ninth with 6.8 avg.).

Michigan State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) heads to Purdue (5-3, 3-2) for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau