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What Tyler Allgeier’s coach and teammates said after his record-setting day

The former BYU running back set a Falcons rookie rushing record in a win over the Buccaneers

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Atlanta Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Atlanta Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Atlanta. The Atlanta Falcons won 30-17.

Danny Karnik, Associated Press

Tyler Allgeier’s rookie season ended with one of his best performances as a pro, and in the process he made some history.

Allgeier ran for 135 yards for Atlanta in the Falcons’ 30-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, an emphatic exclamation point on a record-setting season.

With Sunday’s effort, Allgeier not only ran for 1,000 yards on the year — becoming the first former BYU running back to hit the century mark in an NFL season — he also set the Falcons’ rookie single-season rushing record with 1,035 yards this season.

“He runs hard. You guys can see that,” Falcons veteran guard Chris Lindstrom told reporters, per the team’s website. “Something that you really appreciate for Tyler as an offensive lineman is the tracks and the one-cuts that he does. That’s really and art and skill and he’s excellent.”

Allgeier broke off several long runs while averaging 5.6 yards on 24 carries — he had back-to-back 17- and 16-yard runs on the Falcons’ first touchdown drive. 

He added a 13-yard run on Atlanta’s go-ahead touchdown drive in the third quarter, and a game-high 28-yarder in the fourth that helped Atlanta tack on a field goal.

While Allgeier had already passed the 100-yard mark for the game earlier in the contest, thus ensuring him a 1,000-yard season, that 28-yard run pushed him past William Andrews for the Falcons’ single-season rookie rushing record. 

Andrews ran for 1,023 yards in 1979, but with his 135 yards Sunday, Allgeier finished with 1,035 rushing yards on the year.

It was Allgeier’s second 100-yard rushing game of the season — in Week 15, he ran for 139 yards against New Orleans.

“All glory to God,” Allgeier said after the game, per the team’s website. “I can’t do it without him, and then my friends, family, and teammates, and their support behind me.”

Allgeier, a fifth-round draft pick, worked his way into the lead back role with the Falcons by the season’s end, after entering his rookie season in a crowded Atlanta backfield led by veteran Cordarrelle Patterson.

Over the second half of the season, Allgeier ran for 711 yards in the team’s last nine games, averaging 79 yards per contest.

“There’s a reason we drafted him,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith told reporters Sunday. “I was pretty pleased with the way he was trending and then some of it was opportunities happen. 

“I don’t know if anybody was running the ball better than (Patterson) was earlier in the year around the league and unfortunately, he missed some time, and it was an opportunity where I thought Allgeier stepped in and did a nice job. So, did Caleb Huntley. And I think he really took off so, some of it is by circumstance, but we had a lot of confidence when we took him out of BYU.”

Allgeier’s 1,000-yard accomplishment wasn’t just an individual achievement — it was celebrated by an Atlanta offense that’s been dedicated to running the ball well.

“The line, they were so excited about Tyler getting that 1,000 yards,” Smith said. 

Later Sunday, Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams, BYU’s all-time leading rusher who in his sixth season in the NFL, also crossed 1,000 yards rushing for the season.

Allgeier and Williams are the first two former BYU running backs to ever run for 1,000 yards in an NFL season.

Allgeier was just one component of a talent rookie class of offensive playmakers that includes quarterback Desmond Ridder and wide receiver Drake London, the team’s first-round pick who broke Kyle Pitts’ record for most receptions by a rookie..

His teammates see the potential from Allgeier, who last year set the BYU single-season rushing record.

“I’m happy for what (Allgeier and London) did, and how they finished,” Ridder told reporters. “Those are two hard-working guys, and they are not going to settle for anything. … I know they’re going to work that much harder to be that much better.”