Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust

Sept. 29, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Last week it was quarterback. This week, the No. 1 topic of conversation when Kirk Ferentz gathers to meet with the media for his weekly chat Tuesday shortly after lunch will be running back.

The Big Ten Conference’s leading rusher – Michigan State senior Javon Ringer – and the league’s No. 2 force to be reckoned with as a ball carrier – Iowa junior Shonn Greene – will be on full display Saturday shortly after 11 a.m. Iowa time when the Spartans and Hawkeyes square off in East Lansin, Mich., in a game that will be televised live by ESPN2.

Ringer and Greene are heavyweights. Ball-carrying bruisers. Classic Big Ten football running backs. They don’t mind being hit and, in fact, don’t mind doing the hitting. And both are legitimate league MVP candidates.

Ringer has amassed 897 yards and has scored 12 times in the Spartans’ first five games, a string that includes a four-game winning streak and a victory last weekend at Indiana. He’s had his number called on better than half of the offensive plays called by the Spartans and is the primary reason why Michigan State leads the Big Ten in time of possession.

Greene’s stat line is equally impressive: 665 yards on 99 carries – a gaudy 6.7 yards per attempt average – and five scores. He’s without question the main spoke in an Iowa offense that probably found its full-time quarterback last week in Ricky Stanzi.

Which team is better equipped to stop the other’s locomotive? The statistics through the first five games of 2008 points to Iowa’s defenders. The Hawkeyes are allowing their opponents just 100 yards a game on the ground compared to MSU’s 123. But, the fact is, defenses don’t stop a Ringer or a Greene. They slow them down.

Iowa and Michigan State will kick off shortly after 11 a.m. in East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday. The game will be televised live by ESPN2.

Ferentz’s weekly media conference is one of the many exclusive pieces of audio and video content available in Hawkeye All-Access, the multi-media space inside, the official world wide web site of the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Subscribers to Hawkeye All-Access can watch live each weekly media conference of Kirk Ferentz, Todd Lickliter, Lisa Bluder and Tom Brands. Subscribers also have access to live start-to-finish coverage of each postgame press conference of Ferentz, Lickliter and Brands from events played in Iowa City. They also can listen to live radio coverage of the home and away games of Iowa’s football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling events in addition to the series of Hawk Talk radio shows featuring Ferentz, Lickliter and Bluder.

There’s also live radio play-by-play of volleyball, softball, women’s gymnastics, baseball, men’s gymnastics, wrestling and much more, exclusively inside