Frank Gore calls his own number as he pursues 10,000 yards

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Gore continued his climb up the all-time rushing leaderboard in the 49ers win over the Falcons. However, the most notable play of the game came when he convinced Colin Kaepernick to change a play in the huddle.

The San Francisco 49ers pulled out a tough win over the Atlanta Falcons, and Frank Gore was once again in the middle of the action. Gore rushed for 97 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and a touchdown, bringing his season total to 1,114 yards and nine touchdowns.

Gore continues to climb up the all-time lists. He now has 9,953 rushing yards, moving him past Clinton Portis for 29th place all-time. Gore is now 47 yards shy of 10,000 career rushing yards, and 57 from moving past Ricky Williams into 28th place. Gore's touchdown gives him 60 for his career. He is the sixth active player to reach 60 rushing touchdowns, joining Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Willis McGahee, Steven Jackson and Brandon Jacobs.

The touchdown is of particular note because of what happened surrounding it. On the play before, the 49ers lined up in a heavy formation with two fullbacks and extra blockers on the line. Gore got the quick handoff on 1st and goal at the 2, and was stopped for a gain of one. On the next play, according to all parties involved, Frank Gore changed the play in the huddle. The team ran the exact same play, and Gore burst through for the touchdown.

After the game, Gore and Kap had a chance to discuss the play change.

Gore

Coach said you convinced QB Colin Kaepernick to give you the ball back there?

"Yeah, I kind of saw the defense, how they were playing, and we were at what, the inch line? And the backers were playing like 5 yards back. I knew it was a quick hit, and I know I quick-hitted it. I barreled through. I knew they were going to come on top of me because my running style is so low. I knew they weren't going to get a great hit on me. But I'm happy he listened to me. That's one thing I love about Kap, he listens to his players, his teammates."

Kap

Jim talked about how Frank kind of talked you into that repeat of that first down play down the goal line. What did he say to you and what was your thought process during that time?

"We had a different play called and [RB] Frank [Gore] said he wanted the same thing and I wasn't about to argue with him."

Do you have that power to do that?

"I don't think Coach was too mad because we scored. So, it was alright."

There is something to be said for having the quarterback controlling the huddle, but if you don't know the football genius of Frank Gore at this point in his career, you may never know. Jim Harbaugh has referred to him as a "mystical man", and we've all seen the vision he has. It's hard to get this from his press conferences, but clearly he knows a thing or two about football.

Here is the rest of Gore's transcript following the game.

"How you all doing?"

As far as the excitement, what did tonight's game mean to you?

"It was big, especially getting a win in the last game in Candlestick in front of all the fans. They've been great fans since I got here in '05. I've been here for the ups and downs. First six years were tough years for me, and also I know for the fans. The last three years have been great, been a blessing. I'm happy that we got it turned around. And trying to get back like it was in the past, like when all the other great guys who came through here like the Jerry Rice's, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Bryant Young, Roger Craig. We're trying to get to where they were at."

What was your reaction to LB NaVorro Bowman's interception?

"I was happy, I was happy. We came in the game knowing if we win we're in the tournament. I take my hat off to Atlanta. They fought, they fought. We got it done, and around this time of year you need some luck and we'll take it. You need some luck around this time of the year."

Coach said you convinced QB Colin Kaepernick to give you the ball back there?

"Yeah, I kind of saw the defense, how they were playing, and we were at what, the inch line? And the backers were playing like 5 yards back. I knew it was a quick hit, and I know I quick-hitted it. I barreled through. I knew they were going to come on top of me because my running style is so low. I knew they weren't going to get a great hit on me. But I'm happy he listened to me. That's one thing I love about Kap, he listens to his players, his teammates."

All week you guys have been talking about that you wanted this win for the fans. How special was it to have the old players coming out and to do that in front of them?

"It's great, especially to win to put us in the tournament. To get back to where we left off last year, and hopefully we can get the job done. It was a great win. It took all of us to get the job done, and I think that's what it's going to take for us to move forward to get it in this tournament. It's going to take all of us to make plays to get back to where we left off last year."

How often do you ask Colin to change the play like that, and how often does he do it?

"It's barely. But I just know when they called another play, but I was like, ‘We are at the inch-line, let's keep to that quick-hitter again.' And like I say, he listens. He listens to his teammates, especially guys who are on the field with him and are making plays for him."

Is it surprising to you to see FB Will Tukuafu come in this week and then play so much today and so well?

"Yeah, I'm happy. I'm happy he's back on the team. I'm happy he got an opportunity to show that he belongs with us, and he did a great job when he got his opportunity."

You have such reverence for the players that have come before you and the history of this team. What's the history that you want to be?

"I want to be able to say I was on the team that brought the trophy here. I don't want to be, when I'm done, remember as I was one of the guys that got in the championship and we didn't get it done. I want to be one of the guys that can say that we got there and lost, we came back the next year and got the job done. And I'll be great with that."

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