Hu Delivers Winning TD, Breaks 1,000 Yards
NEW HAVEN, Conn.--Amidst the pandemonium that took over the Yale Bowl Saturday, there stood one man, only 5'10" tall, but towering over the rest of the field.
There stood junior tailback Eion Hu, celebrating with his teammates the sweetest of victories. He wasn't even thinking about the fact that he had just broken the Harvard all-time single-season rushing record--and that there is more to come.
Hu had an outstanding game against the Elis, rushing for 175 yards and one touchdown, an effort that earned him Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors. He kept coming up with big run after big run and dictated the pace of The Game from the onset.
"In my mind I was just thinking, We gotta do it for the seniors. There's no way we're gonna lose this game," Hu said following the thrilling victory.
Hu entered Saturday's game with 926 yards rushing on the season and needed only 74 yards to become the first player in Harvard history to have two 1,000-yard seasons. He accomplished the task--and more--with case, finishing the season with 1,101 yards to set the new all-time single-season rushing mark; he is also number three on the list with 1,011 yards in 1994.
Given the disappointing season the Crimson has had, it is no wonder that few people know of Hu's run at the record book. He has, however, consistently been the brightest star on a team which has not had many shining moments.
Saturday was without doubt the most brilliant of the season for Harvard, and Hu stood again as the giant among men. In addition to the single-season rushing mark, his Game-winning touchdown moved him into sixth place on the all-time career scoring list with 120 points.
Don't expect Hu to take any credit, though; that's just not his style.
"There were always holes wherever I went and [the offensive line] did a spectacular job," Hu said.
Not many people know that this humble economics concentrator from Ringwood, New Jersey is rapidly on his way to becoming Harvard's all-time leader in career rushing yards as well. Hu currently has 2,112 career yards on the ground, and, in all probability, he will take over first place in next year's season-opener, passing Vic Gatto '69 (2,130 yards).
Hu has already tied Gatto for fourth on the school's career touchdown list with 20 scores. Ten more touchdowns next season and he will own that all-time record as well. This is a pretty impressive repertoire for a player who has only just completed his junior season.
With all these records, one might expect Hu to become distracted. But his focus for the last two years has remained on improving his performance, and don't expect that to change next season. Hu is a modest man who has not lost perspective on his accomplishments or on The Game.
"This doesn't totally make up for the whole season," Hu said, "but it is a great feeling."
It is the same type of feeling that fans no doubt get watching Eion Hu run his way right into the Harvard record books week after week.