Paul Perkins sits on the verge of individual achievement, something he doesn't care much about.
UCLA's sophomore running back can shoot up the record-book charts with another big day against Kansas State in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Jan. 2.
Perkins has 1,381 yards rushing, which puts him sixth on UCLA's single-season list.
He needs 26 yards to move into third place. A big day, 191 yards, would leave him second behind Johnathan Franklin, who ran for a school-record 1,734 yards in 2012. Perkins had a career-high 190 yards against Oregon, one of his five 100-yard games this season.
Perkins' main goal: "I want us to be a top-four program and get in the playoffs."
Others are taking delight in the number of yards he grinds out each game, particularly those on an offensive line that Perkins endlessly praises.
His team-first attitude is appreciated, among other qualities.
"It always nice to know that the guy behind you is going to give it all he has," center Jake Brendel said. "You can see that in just the hits he takes. A lot of backs in this conference are shaky; they don't go downhill a lot. They are finesse guys. He has the speed, he has the finesse, and he also has power behind it."
Perkins' drive is what won him a starting job during training camp.
Said running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu: "We went through who was going to be the first guy and he said, 'Coach I'm going to keep working and when all is said and done, I'm going to work my way into being that guy.' He never wished anything bad on anyone else, he just wants to be the best."
As for competing against his eldest son, Rick Neuheisel said, "All I can tell you is drive for show, putt for dough. If it were a home-run hitting contest, the kid would clearly win. But you don't get to hit the ball to right and left field. It's all center field, and that's where I take him, and I take him consistently."