No one would blame Treyvon Green if he was feeling a little forgotten.
In the first four games of the season, the junior running back gained 412 yards on 58 carries and scored five touchdowns. In the next three, during which he was battling an injury, he carried the ball just 17 times, gaining 61 yard with no touchdowns before sitting out the Iowa game last week.
But when Stephen Buckley went down with a knee injury in the first quarter Saturday against Nebraska, suddenly Green was the last running back standing, literally. And he showed everyone what they had been missing.
“Buck’s like my little brother,” Green said. “We’re both from Texas, not too far from each other. Obviously seeing him go down, I got a little emotional because we’re already coming into the game two-deep and with him going down, seeing that it really made me get into my zone and keep going, knowing that I’m playing for him but I’m also playing for our seniors.”
On the play right after Buckley was carted off the field, Green ran for 39 yards up the middle. A few plays later, he scored his second touchdown of the day to give Northwestern the 14-7 lead. He finished with 150 yards and three touchdowns, despite leaving the game briefly in the third quarter with a leg injury.
“He’s been battling all year,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “There’s not a whole lot you can say besides he was unbelievable. He was great early when his number was called, battled through injuries, and to come back the way that he played with an injury in the game was absolutely amazing. Good job by him. He gave us a chance to win.”
Green was quick to give credit to his teammates for making him look good, but he was also quick to hit the holes that his line opened up for him.
“That was definitely the offensive line,” he said. “Me and Kain (Colter), we’re the ones running the ball but they’re the ones giving us the hole and giving us the seam. All the credit goes to the offensive line. They put the offense on their back today and the rushing game was successful.”
Despite the outcome of the game, Green’s reemergence gives the Wildcats help at position that is desperately thin at the moment. They will need him if they intend to fight for two wins in the next three games to become bowl eligible and salvage something from this season.