BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Like so many on the team, this has been a season to remember for Union College running back Terence Pollock.
The numbers speak for themselves - five 100-yard games, nearly 1,100 yards rushing and 10 rushing touchdowns. With one game remaining in the regular season, Pollock is only 60 yards away from breaking the program's single-season record of 1,158 rushing yards.
"Coming in, I viewed this year as my breakout year," said the Orange Park, Fla. native.
And break out he has.
Averaging 5.7 yards per carry, Pollock has galloped for 1,099 yards on 192 attempts. What's really been impressive this season has been his big play ability. Coming into the 2008 campaign, Pollock's longest carry in his career went for 26 yards. However, he broke a 33-yarder in the season-opening win at Lambuth (Tenn.) University and has had eight runs of 33 yards or more including a 97-yard touchdown run at Faulkner (Ala.) University and a 69-yard scoring run against Campbellsville (Ky.) University.
Union head coach Tommy Reid said there are a number of factors figuring into Pollock's big year.
"I think everyone on offense has done a better job this year with blocking," the Bulldog coach said. "Secondly, Terence did a good job of preparing himself this summer and came into camp healthy and strong. And lastly, I think we have so many weapons on offense and have been more balanced with our attack that it's hard for defenses to just key on trying to take one guy out of the game."
A two-time All-Mid-South Conference East First Team member, Pollock posted respectable numbers heading into his junior season. He had amassed 1,373 total yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, ranking him sixth on the all-time rushing list.
Pollock now ranks third on the all-time list with 2,472 career yards and is just 383 yards away from becoming the program's all-time leading rusher.
"I just work hard and try to get better each year," Pollock said. "I just read the holes and go through them."
The 5-foot-10, 223-pound running back credits the Bulldog offensive line for much of his success.
"They've gotten a lot better," he said. "They're bigger and faster, and they'll all be back next year."
Union does have an experience but young offensive line as there are no seniors and just one junior on the Bulldogs' depth chart.
"It's great to have them all back," added Pollock. "I always tell them that I run for them. Everything I do is because of them."
Pollock's success on the ground has made the transition for freshman quarterback Mike Brinkley (Anthony, Fla.) a smooth one.
"Our ability to run the ball more effectively has obviously made it easier for our freshman quarterback, taking pressure off of him," said Reid."Again, I credit that to good blocking from our entire offensive unit and great preparation this summer by Terence."
With a balanced offensive attack, Union has posted 330 total points this season - four shy of the program record, en route to an 8-2 overall mark and 5-1 MSC East record. The Bulldogs are also ranked No. 15 in the NAIA and on the cusp of their first-ever postseason berth.
Not bad for a program that hasn't had more than four wins in a season since 1995.
"Coming into the season, everybody was determined to win," Pollock said. "We just take it one day at time, one game at time."
While Pollock is having a record-setting season, Reid said that bigger and better things could be in store for Pollock in 2009.
"Yes, it's possible for him to have a better senior campaign," Reid elaborated."He will obviously have to have himself prepared again, and we will need to continue to improve a young offensive line."
Union plays its final regular-season game Saturday against visiting Belhaven (Miss.) College at 1:30 p.m.