When Cory Boyd trots on to the field at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Monday afternoon, he will do so with the knowledge that he led the Canadian Football League in rushing (792 yards) and yards from scrimmage (894) after eight games.
And Boyd said it’s no surprise to him, but he wasn’t being cocky when he gave the answer to a group of reporters on Friday afternoon, not long after the Argos practised through a wicked, but short, rain storm.
“Not at all, but I don’t consider it my success,” said Boyd, a mid-season candidate for the CFL’s most outstanding player honours.
“I consider it a team success. I would not be able to do the things I was doing if I did not have that (offensive) line that was dedicated on being physical and pushing guys off the ball, and a quarterback that is showing resilience out there. We’re all just components in this offence.”
But Boyd, to date, has been the most significant component. He has slowed down a bit in recent games — the 25-year-old has rushed for more than 100 yards once in the past four games after doing it three times in the first four games — but he remains on pace for 1,782 rushing yards. If Boyd plays in all 18 games and maintains his pace, he would smash the Argos’ team record of 1,484 rushing yards in one season, accomplished by Michael Jenkins in 2001. In only seven seasons has an Argos back cracked the 1,000-yard barrier, with the most recent a year ago when Jamal Robertson had 1,031 yards on the ground.
Boyd might not be surprised by his excellent numbers, but Argos head coach Jim Barker is, to an extent.
“I did not think he would be as dominant a running back as he has been, but there are a lot of things that go into that,” Barker said. “I don’t think you ever expect players, especially rookies, to do that sort of thing. But with Cory, we expected a lot because he was getting a job that rookies don’t normally get. To say I was expecting him to be as good as he has been, no, I did not expect that.”
The second half probably will pose a greater challenge for Boyd, now that most teams in the league have seen him once.
“I have not had a 1,000-yard season since high school,” Boyd said. “At the end of the season, we will see how everything looks. Right now, I’m just grateful with what I have. Yardage and stats don’t win games, it’s going out there and playing for each other and knowing that you left everything you had on the field. When the wins come, it’s a better feeling than getting yards.”