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Giants Now: Throwback to last time Saquon had 35+ touches


Looking back at Saquon's incredible 40-touch game at Penn State

Saquon Barkley is in the midst of a special season.

The latest chapter of the talented running back's comeback tour featured him carrying the ball a career-high 35 times and catching one pass in Sunday's win over the Houston Texans.

While the 36 total touches were the most he's had in a game since the Giants drafted him in 2018, it is not the highest number he's had a game in his football career.

"In college – I touched the ball like 40 times against Iowa, I think," Barkley said after Sunday's win. "I think that's the most because I think I had 28 carries and 12 catches against Iowa. I was going stupid, by the way. I think that's the most. I know that's the conversation of how many carries or how many touches I had but it's my job to be a pro, go in there, get in the cold tub, get in the hot tub and get ready for next week."

Barkley did in fact go "stupid" in Penn State's 2017 win over Iowa.

He ran the ball 28 times for 211 yards, good for an average of 7.5 yards, and a touchdown and added 12 receptions for 94 yards. Barkley also had three kick returns for an additional 53 yards, which brought his grand total to an amazing 358 all-purpose yards which set a new Penn State record.

At the time, the all-purpose yardage total in that game ranked 10th all-time in Big Ten history and marked the second 300-yard all-purpose game by Barkley. His 12 receptions also finished as the most in school history by a running back.

"I cannot imagine that there's a better player in all of college football," Penn State coach James Franklin said after the game. "This guy is special. I don't know what his stats were or what he did, but every time he touched the ball I don't care if it was a 20-yard run or an 8-yard run, it was something special, it really was."

Barkley averaged 1,900 total yards from scrimmage in his final two seasons at Penn State, with 22 touchdowns as a sophomore and 21 scores as a junior. Of course, this dominance led to the Giants selecting Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft and the rest is history.

View photos of Giants running back Saquon Barkley's time with the New York Giants.

Inside the Numbers: Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones set the pace

Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley continued to set the pace for the much-improved Giants in their 24-16 victory against the Houston Texans on Sunday. With their two most important offensive players again having productive games, the Giants improved to 7-2 as they prepare to play two games in five days – Sunday at home against the Detroit Lions and Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.

Jones posted a career-high 153.3 passer rating by completing 13 of 17 throws for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the highest rating by a player with more than one attempt in an NFL game this season.

The 153.3 is also the fifth-highest rating by a Giants quarterback in a game with 15+ pass attempts since the rating system was implemented in 1973. The last Giants quarterback with at least 15 attempts and a rating of 153.3 or higher was Eli Manning vs. Tampa Bay on Nov. 18, 2018 (155.8).

Jones' season-long passer rating of 92.7 is easily the highest of his career. He finished his rookie season in 2019 with an 87.7 rating.

Jones has four games this season with a rating of at least 100.2. He is the first Giants quarterback with at least four 100+ passer rating games with 15+ attempts in a season since … Jones, in his rookie season.

*Jones has posted his three highest single-game pass completion percentages in the Giants' first nine games – 85.0 at Tennessee, 77.8 vs. Green Bay and 76.5 on Sunday. He also completed 70.4% of his passes vs. Baltimore on Oct. 16.

Jones is one of four quarterbacks with three games this season in which they completed at least 76% of their passes (minimum 15 attempts). Seattle's Geno Smith has four such games and Cleveland's Jacoby Brissett, Jacksonville's Trevor Lawrence and Jones each have three.