List of NCAA major college football yearly total offense leaders

The list of college football yearly total offense leaders identifies the major college leaders for each season from 1937 to the present. It includes yearly leaders in two statistical categories: (1) total offense yards, and (2) total offense yards per game. From 1937 to 1969, the NCAA determined its national total offense individual title based on total yardage. Starting in 1970, the NCAA began making that determination based on total offense yards per game.[1]

US Navy 031230-N-2653P-748 Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons passes the ball as Navy linebacker Bobby McClarin leaps into the air in an attempt to block during the Naval Academy's game with Texas Tech in the EV1.Net Hous
B. J. Symons

Total offense leaders

= Winner of that year's Heisman Trophy
Bold = Figure established an NCAA major college record

Year Name Total offense Name Total off. /game
1937 Byron White[1]
1938 Davey O'Brien[1]
1939 Kenny Washington[1]
1370 Tom Harmon[2]
1940 Johnny Knolla[1][2]
1420 Tom Harmon[2]
1941 Bud Schwenk[1][3]
(Wash. U.)
1928 Bud Schwenk[4] 214.2
1942 Frank Sinkwich[1][5]
1943 R. Hoernschemeyer[1][6]
1944 Bob Fenimore[1][7]
(Oklahoma St.)
1758 Bob Fenimore[8] 219.75
1945 Bob Fenimore[1][9]
(Oklahoma St.)
1641 Bob Fenimore[10] 205.1
1946 Travis Tidwell[1]
1715 Travis Tidwell[11][12] 171.5
1947 Fred Enke[1][13]
1941 Fred Enke[14] 194.1
1948 Stan Heath[1][15]
1992 Stan Heath[16] 221.3
1949 Johnny Bright[1]
1950 Johnny Bright[1][17]
2400 Johnny Bright[18] 266.7
1951 Dick Kazmaier[1][19]
1952 Ted Marchibroda[1][20]
1953 Paul Larson[1][21]
1954 George Shaw[1][22]
1955 George Welsh[1][23] 1348
1956 John Brodie[1][24]
1957 Bob Newman[1][25]
(Washington St.)
1958 Dick Bass[1][26]
1440 Randy Duncan[26]
1959 Dick Norman[1][25]
1960 Billy Kilmer[1][25]
1889 Billy Kilmer[27] 188.9
1961 Dave Hoppman[1][25]
(Iowa St.)
1638 Dave Hoppman[28] 163.8
1962 Terry Baker[1][25]
(Oregon St.)
1963 George Mira[1][25]
2318 George Mira[29] 231.8
1964 Jerry Rhome[1][25]
3128 Jerry Rhome[30] 312.8
1965 Billy Anderson[1][25]
3343 Billy Anderson[31] 334.3
1966 Virgil Carter[1][25]
1967 Sal Olivas[1][32]
(New Mexico St.)
1968 Greg Cook[1][25]
3210 Greg Cook 321.0
1969 Dennis Shaw[1][25]
(San Diego St.)
1970 Jim Plunkett[25]
3189 Pat Sullivan[1]
1971 Don Bunce[25]
2805 Gary Huff[1]
(Florida St.)
1972 Don Strock[25]
(Virginia Tech)
3170 Don Strock[1] 288.2
1973 Jesse Freitas[25]
(San Diego St.)
2901 Jesse Freitas[1] 263.7
1974 Gene Swick[25]
2450 Steve Joachim[1]
1975 Gene Swick[25]
2706 Gene Swick[1] 246.0
1976 Tommy Kramer[25]
3272 Tommy Kramer[1] 297.5
1977 Doug Williams[25]
3249 Doug Williams[1] 293.5
1978 Mike Ford[25]
2957 Mike Ford[1] 268.8
1979 Marc Wilson[25]
3580 Marc Wilson[1] 325.5
1980 Jim McMahon[25]
4627 Jim McMahon[1] 385.6
1981 Sam King[25]
3562 Jim McMahon[1] 345.8
1982 Todd Dillon[25]
(Long Beach St.)
3587 Todd Dillon[1] 326.1
1983 Steve Young[25]
4346 Steve Young[1] 395.1
1984 Doug Flutie[25]
(Boston College)
4013 Robbie Bosco[1] 327.7
1985 Robbie Bosco[25]
4141 Jim Everett[1]
1986 Mike Perez[25]
(San Jose St.)
3250 Mike Perez[1] 329.9
1987 Todd Santos[25]
(San Diego St.)
3688 Todd Santos[1] 307.3
1988 Scott Mitchell[25]
4299 Scott Mitchell[1] 390.8
1989 Andre Ware[25]
4661 Andre Ware[1] 423.7
1990 David Klingler[25]
5221 David Klingler[1] 474.6
1991 Ty Detmer[25]
4001 Ty Detmer[1] 333.4
1992 Jimmy Klingler[25]
3768 Jimmy Klingler[1] 342.5
1993 Chris Vargas[25]
4332 Chris Vargas[1] 393.8
1994 Stoney Case[25]
(New Mexico)
3649 Mike Maxwell[1]
1995 Cody Ledbetter[25]
(New Mexico St.)
3724 Mike Maxwell[1]
1996 Josh Wallwork[25]
4209 Josh Wallwork[1] 350.8
1997 Tim Rattay[25]
(La. Tech)
3968 Tim Rattay[1] 360.7
1998 Tim Rattay[25] 4865 Tim Rattay[1] 403.3
1999 Drew Brees[25]
4086 Tim Rattay[1] 381.0
2000 Drew Brees[25]
4189 Drew Brees[1] 358.1
2001 David Carr[25]
(Fresno St.)
4906 Rex Grossman[1]
2002 Kliff Kingsbury[25]
(Texas Tech)
4903 Byron Leftwich[1]
2003 B. J. Symons[25]
(Texas Tech)
5976 B. J. Symons[1] 459.7
2004 Sonny Cumbie[25]
(Texas Tech)
4575 Sonny Cumbie[1] 381.3
2005 Colt Brennan[25]
4455 Colt Brennan[1] 371.3
2006 Colt Brennan[25] 5915 Colt Brennan[1] 422.5
2007 Graham Harrell[25]
(Texas Tech)
5614 Graham Harrell[1] 431.8
2008 Case Keenum
5241 Case Keenum[1] 403.2
2009 Case Keenum[25] 5829 Case Keenum[1] 416.4
2010 Bryant Moniz
5142 Bryant Moniz[1] 367.3
2011 Case Keenum[25]
5666 Case Keenum 404.7
2012 Johnny Manziel[25]
(Texas A&M)
5116 Johnny Manziel[1] 393.5
2013 Derek Carr[25]
(Fresno St.)
5200 Derek Carr[1] 399.9
2014 Marcus Mariota[25]
5224 Connor Halliday[1]
(Washington St.)
2015 Deshaun Watson[25]
5209 Patrick Mahomes II[1]
(Texas Tech)
2016 Patrick Mahomes II[25]
(Texas Tech)
5307 Patrick Mahomes II[1]
(Texas Tech)
2017 Lamar Jackson[25]
5261 Lamar Jackson[1]

Pre-1937 unofficial data

Before 1937 the NCAA did not compile official statistics. This chart reflects unofficial total offense statistics compiled by historians mostly from newspaper accounts. Prior to 1913, total offense leaders will be almost exclusively due to rushing yards, and prior to 1906 there was no forward pass.

Year Name Total offense Name Total off. /game
1936 Sammy Baugh
1935 Sammy Baugh
1934 Dixie Howell
1437 Dixie Howell 143.7
1932 Pug Lund
1930 Marchy Schwartz
(Notre Dame)
1929 Lloyd Brazil[33]
1928 Ken Strong[34]
3000 Ken Strong 300
1927 Bill Spears
2001 Bill Spears 181.9
1926 Gibby Welch[35][36]
1964 or 1172
1925 Swede Oberlander
1924 Red Grange
1176 Red Grange 147
1921 Aubrey Devine
2211 Aubrey Devine 315.9
1920 Jimmy Leech
1771 Jimmy Leech 196.8
1919 George Gipp
(Notre Dame)
1456 George Gipp 161.8
1912 Jim Thorpe
1972 Jim Thorpe 140.9
1911 Jim Thorpe
1908 Jim Thorpe
1904 Willie Heston
1901 Willie Heston


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc "Football Bowl Subdivision Records" (PDF). NCAA. 2015. pp. 50–51.
  2. ^ a b c Gail Fowler (December 5, 1940). "Johnny Knolla Ground-Gaining Champ of 1940". The Decatur Review. p. 11 – via open access
  3. ^ "Schwenk Leads On The Ground". The High Point (NC) Enterprise. December 4, 1941. p. 22 – via open access
  4. ^ "Schwenk Gains 1,928 Yards in 9 Games; Sinkwich Leading Rusher". The Gettysburg Times. December 4, 1941. p. 3 – via open access(confirming that Schwenk's 1,928 yards were gained in only nine games)
  5. ^ "Total Offense Mark Broken By Sinkwich". Dixon Evening Telegraph. December 3, 1942. p. 9 – via open access
  6. ^ "Notre Dame Shatters Colorado Mark in Offense". The Portsmouth, N.H. Herald. December 4, 1943. p. 6 – via open access
  7. ^ "Oklahoma Aggies Point With Pride To Best Record In School History". The Big Spring (TX) Daily Herald. December 28, 1944. p. 5 – via open access
  8. ^ "Aggies Storm Into Dallas For Big Fray". Herald and News (Oregon). December 28, 1944. p. 6 – via's 1,758 yards were accumulated in only eight games)
  9. ^ "Davis Sets All-Time Ball-Toting Record". The Amarillo Daily News. December 29, 1945. p. 2 – via open access
  10. ^ "Fenimore Smashes Previous Aggie Ball-Toting Records". Miami (OK) Daily News-Record. November 29, 1945. p. 10 – via (Fenimore's 1,641 yards were gained in eight games)
  11. ^ "Auburn Freshman Tidwell Emerges As Ground-Gaining King of '46 Gridiron". The Gallup Independent. December 11, 1946. p. 3 – via's 1,715 yards were gained in 10 games)
  12. ^ "Bobby Layne Got Plenty Yardage For Longhorns". The Paris News. December 3, 1946. p. 7 – via open access(total offense runner-up Layne also appeared in 10 games)
  13. ^ "Enke Close To All-Time Mark". Tucson Daily Citizen. December 12, 1947. p. 17 – via open access
  14. ^ "Enke Close To All-Time Mark". Tucson Daily Citizen. December 12, 1947. p. 17 – via open access(Enke's 1,941 yards second highest in history, tallied in 10 games)
  15. ^ "Passin' Stan Wins Honors In Total Offense: Nevada's Heath Leads Nation's Top Gridders With 1992 Yards". Pottstown (PA) Mercury. December 10, 1948. p. 29 – via open access
  16. ^ "Heath, Wendt Dominate Offenses". The Austin American. December 10, 1948. p. 27 – via open access(Heath's 1,992 yards gained in only nine games)
  17. ^ "Drake Back Pigskin's Top Gainer; Don Heinrich Third; Bright Totals 2400 Yards". The Statesman, Salem, Oregon. December 11, 1950. p. 9 – via open access
  18. ^ "Bright 1st, Ford 5th in Nation's Total Offense". Abilene Reporter-News. December 11, 1950. p. 28 – via open access(showing that Bright's 2,400 yards of total offense were accumulated in only nine games)
  19. ^ "Kazmaier U.S. Top Gainer". Brooklyn Eagle. December 9, 1951. p. 27 – via open access
  20. ^ "Ted Marchibroda Tops Nation In Total Offense". The Pantagraph. December 11, 1952. p. 34 – via open access
  21. ^ "Experiment Clicks At California As Paul Larson Wins Offense Race". Nevada State Journal. December 6, 1953. p. 15 – via open access
  22. ^ "Shaw Beats Larson In Total Offense". Corpus Christi Times. December 9, 1954. p. 18B – via open access
  23. ^ "Welsh, Luppino Win Offense Titles". Corpus Christi Times. December 7, 1955 – via open access
  24. ^ "Brodie Wins Total Offense and NCAA Passing Titles". The Daily Sun (San Bernardino). December 14, 1956. p. 49 – via open access
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be "Year-by-Year Leaders and Records for Total Yards". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Dick Bass Dominates Statistics". Tucson Daily Citizen. December 10, 1958 – via open access(Bass was first player since 1937 to win football's triple crown in scoring, rushing and total offense; Duncan gained 1,406 yards in nine games, one less than Bass, to lead in yards per game)
  27. ^ "Uclan Averages 188.9 Yards a Game: Kilmer Officially Gains Crown in Total Offense". The Sun (San Bernardino). December 14, 1960. p. 10 – via open access
  28. ^ "Miller 2nd In Passing, Total Offense In Nation". The Daily Telegram (WI). November 29, 1961. p. 17 – via open access
  29. ^ "Wins Total Offense Title: Mira's Bid To Overtake Leader Falls Two Passes, Yards Short". Tucson Daily Citizen. December 17, 1963. p. 28 – via open access(Mira's yardage gained in 10 games)
  30. ^ "Rhome Set 16 New Marks; Morton 2nd Best Passer". Independent-Journal. December 8, 1964. p. 17 – via open access(confirming Rhome gained his 3,128 yards in 10 games in 1964)
  31. ^ "Tulsa Star Sets Five Grid Marks". The Daily Telegram. December 9, 1965. p. 1B – via open access(confirming Anderson gained his 3,343 yards in 10 games in 1965)
  32. ^ "Sal Olivas Leads In Total Offense". Las Cruces Sun-News. November 29, 1967. p. 9 – via open access
  33. ^ Red Cagle had 1403
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
1947 Arizona Wildcats football team

The 1947 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona in the Border Conference during the 1947 college football season. In their seventh season under head coach Mike Casteel, the Wildcats compiled a 5–4–1 record (3–2 against Border opponents), finished in fourth place in the conference, and were outscored by their opponents, 241 to 233. The team captain was Fred Knez. The team played its home games in Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona.

Fred Enke led the team with 1,406 passing yards (88 of 184 passing) and 538 net rushing yards on 146 carries. His combined tally of 1,944 yards of total offense was the best in the country. See List of NCAA major college football yearly total offense leaders.

Billy Anderson (quarterback)

Billy Guy Anderson (February 17, 1941 – April 11, 1996) was an American football quarterback who played professionally in the American Football League.

Bob Newman

Bob Newman (born c. 1938) was an American football player. He played college football for Washington State Cougars football team from 1956 to 1958. He ranked second behind John Brodie among NCAA major college players with 1,240 passing yards in 1956. In 10 games during the 1957 season, he completed 104 of 188 passes for 1,391 passing yards and 13 touchdowns, and he also compiled 1,444 yards of total offense. He led the NCAA major colleges that year in total offense and ranked second in passing yards. He also led the Pacific Coast Conference in 1957 in pass completions (104), pass completion percentage (55.3%), and passing touchdowns (13). Newman was unanimously selected as a first-team player on the Associated Press' 1957 All-Pacific Coast Conference football team. Newman was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers but did not make the team. He signed with the Oakland Raiders in September 1960. He was inducted into the Washington State Hall of Fame in 2011.

Chris Vargas

Chris Vargas (born January 29, 1971) is an American former gridiron football quarterback. He played in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the Edmonton Eskimos, BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He played college football for the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Dave Hoppmann

Dave Hoppman (born c. 1942) was an American football player. He played for the Iowa State Cyclones football team. He was selected by the Football Writers Association of America as a first-team halfback on the 1962 College Football All-America Team. He also played for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1963 and 1964.

David Klingler

David Ryan Klingler (born February 17, 1969) is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals after a record setting career at the University of Houston, but is considered a bust for his lackluster NFL career. Klingler attended Stratford High School in Houston. Klingler is now an Associate Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dick Bass

Richard Lee Bass (March 15, 1937 – February 1, 2006) was an American football running back from who played for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL) from 1960 to 1969.

Dick Norman (American football)

Richard Michael "Dick" Norman (born September 14, 1938, in Downey, California) is a Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame inductee and former American football quarterback.

Don Bunce

Dr. Don Bunce (January 17, 1949 – April 15, 2003) was an American football quarterback and orthopedic surgeon.

Greg Cook

Gregory Lynn Cook (November 20, 1946 – January 27, 2012) was an American football quarterback. Once considered a rising star for the Cincinnati Bengals, shoulder troubles prematurely ended his career.

Johnny Knolla

John Alexander Knolla (March 19, 1919 – January 12, 1992) was a National Football League player for the Chicago Cardinals. He played college football for Creighton University from 1938 to 1940. In 1940, he led all NCAA major college players with 1,420 yards of total offense, outpacing Tom Harmon by 52 yards. He also played professional football in the National Football League for the Chicago Cardinals in 1942 and 1945. He appeared in 18 NFL games and gained 138 kickoff return yards, 107 punt return yards, 79 rushing yards, and 63 receiving yards.

Josh Wallwork

Josh Wallwork (born c. 1975) is a former American football player. He attended Tracy High School in Tracy, California, and played college football for Gavilan College in Gilroy, California, before transferring to the University of Wyoming in 1995. He played for Joe Tiller's Wyoming Cowboys football team in 1995 and 1996. As a senior in 1996, he led all NCAA major college players in several statistical categories, including total offense yards (4,209), total offense per game (350.8), passing yards (4,090), and pass completions (286).

Paul Larson (American football)

Paul Leroy Larson (born March 19, 1932) is a former American football player. A native of Turlock, California, Larson played college football at the quarterback position for the California Golden Bears football team. He was selected by the Football Writers Association of America as the first-team quarterback on its 1954 College Football All-America Team. He was selected by the Chicago Cardinals in the eighth round (86th overall pick) of the 1954 NFL Draft and played for the Cardinals in five games during the 1957 NFL season. He later appeared in one game for the Oakland Raiders in 1960.

Sal Olivas

Sal Olivas (born c. 1946) was an American football player. A native of El Paso, Texas, Olivas attended Cathedral High School in that city. He played college football for the New Mexico State Aggies football team from 1964 to 1967. As a senior in 1967, he led all NCAA major college players in both total offense yards (2,190) and passing yards (2,225), and ranked second in the NCAA in pass attempts (321) and passing touchdowns (19). As of 2013, he was the Internet and inventory manager for a car dealership (Casa Nissan) in El Paso.

Stan Heath (gridiron football)

Stanley Robert Heath (March 5, 1927 – September 26, 2010) was a quarterback in the National Football League who played 12 games for the Green Bay Packers. In 1949, the Green Bay Packers used the 5th pick in the 1st round of the 1949 NFL Draft to sign Heath out of the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was the nation's top passer. Previously, he had been a member of the Wisconsin Badgers. Heath was the first NCAA quarterback to throw for over 2,000 yards in a season, a mark that would not be surpassed for fifteen years. He finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1948. Heath only played one season with the Packers before moving to the Canadian Football League.

Heath is the son of former major league baseball player Mickey Heath, the uncle of attorney and TruTV television commentator Robert W. Bigelow, and cousin to broadcaster and author Jim Heath.

Heath died at his home in Jesup, Georgia.

Todd Dillon

Todd Dillon (born January 6, 1962) is an American former professional gridiron football player, a quarterback in the Canadian Football League (CFL), where he played from 1986 to 1994 for the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Previously, he played two seasons in the United States Football League (USFL). Dillon played college football at Long Beach State University.

Todd Santos

Todd Santos (born February 12, 1964) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 10th round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He played college football at San Diego State.Santos also played for the San Francisco 49ers.

Travis Tidwell

Travis Vaughn Tidwell (February 5, 1929 – July 1, 2004) was an American football player and coach. Tidwell played high school football for Woodlawn High School. He played college football at Auburn University and then in the National Football League with the New York Giants. He was the Senior Bowl MVP in 1950. Tidwell led Auburn over a defeat of Alabama in 1949. Zipp Newman wrote "There has never been a sweeter Auburn victory in all the 58 years of football on the Plains than the Tigers 14-13 win over Alabama." Tidwell stood 5 foot 10 inches and weighed 185 pounds.

Virgil Carter

Virgil R. Carter (born November 9, 1945) is a former professional American football quarterback who played in the National Football League and the World Football League from 1967 through 1976.

NCAA major college football yearly leaders

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