AMES, Iowa — Troy Davis gave a sellout homecoming crowd of 44,941 plenty to cheer about Saturday as he ran for 378 yards--the third-best rushing mark in major-college history--and four touchdowns to lead Iowa State past Missouri, 45-31.
Davis, a 5-foot-8, 190-pound junior, carried 41 times and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 40-yard run in the fourth quarter. He also scored on runs of one, 38 and 30 yards as Iowa State (2-2 overall) won its Big 12 opener.
"He's the best in college football, I'm convinced of that," Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. "He just seems to add to it every time we play a game."
Davis broke the school record of 302 yards he set against Nevada Las Vegas last season, when he led the nation with 2,010 yards and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
The top two NCAA Division I-A rushing performances are 396 yards by Tony Sands of Kansas against Missouri in 1991 and 386 yards by San Diego State's Marshall Faulk against Pacific, also in 1991.
Davis, who ran off the field to cheers of "TD, TD" and "Heisman, Heisman," became just the fourth Division I-A back to rush for more than 300 yards twice. Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders did it four times, while Faulk and Northern Illinois' LaShon Johnson did it twice.
"The coaches gave me the ball and I kept piling up the yards," said Davis who, as usual, remembered his offensive line.
"They come out there and play," he said. "All of them say, 'Troy, run behind me, run behind me.' I've got a choice who to run behind. There were holes everywhere."
In four games, Davis has 917 yards and 12 touchdowns and is on a pace to become the first Division I-A player with consecutive 2,000-yard seasons. He had 912 yards after four games last season.
Missouri (1-3, 0-2) got 135 yards rushing from quarterback Corby Jones, who ran for two touchdowns and passed for another.
But the Tigers couldn't hold on against the constant pounding from Davis, and Iowa State scored three times in the final 12 minutes to pull away.
"Their running offense is only about four plays," Missouri Coach Larry Smith said. "They do a great job with it."