A statistic in football that records the total number of yards gained by a single player as the result of a rushing play (or plays), in which the player carries the football (as opposed to receiving a pass).
A rushing play is defined as a play in which the quarterback or direct snap player hands off or carries the football immediately after receiving the snap from the center. Rushing yards are recorded from that position on the field until possession changes or the play is called dead. A player can rush for positive or negative yards. Yards are marked by forward progress, meaning that a player who has rushed forward four yards, met resistance and is driven back two yards before being tackled is still credited with four rushing yards. If the player instead reverses direction of his own accord and is tackled at the same spot, the recorded rushing yards will only be two.
The benchmark for a good rushing yard total in a single game is generally set at 100 rushing yards or more. A successful running back typically gains 1000 to 2000 yards in a single season.