Western's Octavias McKoy brings national attention to program, school
DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University senior running back, Octavias McKoy, (Stratford) rushed for a NCAA all-divisions 455 yards in the Colonials' 55-35 win over Worcester State University last Saturday. Since then, he has begun preparing for this week's opponent, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, while he, the university and its football program garner national attention.
Through Sunday, the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) named McKoy its Offensive Player of the Week, marking the third time this season he received that honor. Later in the week, he is expected to be the front-runner for many more regional and national awards.
On Sunday, he was honored on ESPN's "College Football Live" with a helmet sticker, an honor usually given exclusively to top performers at the Division I level.
He has been invited to be on Monday night's ESPN "SportsCenter" broadcast and will be in studio for the 9 p.m. airing.
Against the Lancers, McKoy carried the ball 43 times, amassed the record-breaking 455 yards and scored five touchdowns. His touchdown runs were from 15, one, 41, 53 and 71 yards, respectively, as the Colonials broke a 21-21 at intermission and 28-28 third-quarter deadlock with Worcester State and outscored the Lancers 27-7 over the final 30 minutes.
The previous record was held by Dante Brown of Marrietta College, another Division III program, as he rushed for 441 yards against Baldwin-Wallace on Oct. 5, 1996. The other divisions' marks are: FBS Division I - LeDainian Tomlinson TCU vs. UTEP, Nov. 20, 1999; FCS Division I - Maurice Hicks, North Carolina A&T vs. Morgan State, Oct. 6, 2001; Division II - Jarom Freeman, Southern Connecticut vs. Bryant, Nov. 2, 2007.
The five touchdowns McKoy scored on Saturday give him 23 on the season, in just seven games, and 19 during the Colonials' last four contests. He leads the nation in touchdowns and points scored with 138, through seven games.
On the season, McKoy, listed at 5'10" and 191 pounds, has 1,556 yards on 180 carries and 23 visits to pay dirt. He is averaging 8.6 yards per carry with a long run of 71 yards, which was his final touchdown run last Saturday.
The eyes of NFL scouts are beginning to fix on McKoy. Back on Oct. 12, when the Colonials hosted Massachusetts Maritime, an Indianapolis Colts scout came to view Western defensive back, Tory Mack, (Stratford) but turned his attention to McKoy, and for good reason.
Against the Buccaneers, McKoy rushed for 372 yards and scored five touchdowns in the first of three consecutive five-touchdown games. That week, he received the coveted Ray Gallant Insurance New England Football Writers' Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet Award and will likely earn his second region's top award this Wednesday.
Over the past three games, he is averaging 351 yards on 35.6 carries for an average of 9.8 yards per touch.
McKoy, a Stratford High School graduate in 2008, set out to take his talents to a Division I school. After short stints at Garden City Community College and Eastern Arizona College, he returned "home" and transferred to Western prior to the start of the 2012 campaign.
A year ago, McKoy had 176 carries for 680 yards and scored eight touchdowns, including the game-winner in the Colonials' 20-14 overtime victory over Montclair State University on Oct. 27. The win ended a 28-game losing streak that spanned parts of four seasons.
Fifty-two weeks later, he basks in the spotlight again, for obviously other reasons, and the Western football program and community could not be happier.
With three weeks remaining (two games sandwiched around a bye week) in his collegiate career, McKoy is poised to re-write the Western Football Record Book. Thus far, he has broken 13 rushing and scoring records, and still has two games remaining in the season.
McKoy needs just 96 yards to break Mike Megura's career mark of 2,332 rushing yards from 1984 through 1986.
The Colonials, now 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the MASCAC, close out the season against the Corsairs on Saturday, Nov. 2, before celebrating Senior Day at the Westside Athletic Complex against Westfield State on Nov. 16.