Football: Green emerges as Wildcats’ scoring savior after injury plagues the depth chart


Brian Lee/The Daily Northwestern

Running back Treyvon Green sprints downfield Saturday in Northwestern’s crushing 27-24 loss to Nebraska. The junior performed spectacularly, scoring all three of the Wildcats’ touchdowns and finishing with 149 yards.

John Paschall, Assistant Gameday Editor

The injury bug wasn’t just biting at Northwestern — it is feasting on the Wildcats.

Entering Saturday against Nebraska, seniors Venric Mark and Mike Trumpy and freshman Warren Long were ruled out with injury, leaving only redshirt freshman Stephen Buckley and junior Treyvon Green as the only running backs who had any significant carries this season.

That number dwindled to just one after Buckley suffered a potentially serious knee injury late in the first quarter.

Everything seemed to be spiraling out of control early in the game for an offense that couldn’t pick up any big yards passing the entire evening. It would have been easy for the Cats to wave the white flag and limp into the bye week.

But somewhere on the sidelines out of the sight of cameras, Green put on his superman cape and, sans a ridiculously lucky Hail Mary pass, carried his team to a victory.

“He’s unbelievable,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said of Green. “When his number was called, he battled through injuries, and then to come back and play the way he played with an injury in game, absolutely amazing job by him.”

Green, who missed the last game with an undisclosed injury, finished with 149 yards and 3 touchdowns. He earned every yard he gained on the field and made some Cornhusker defenders look silly with spin moves.

After the game, Green said he was excited to get back on the field.

“I was hungry to come back and make a name for myself and get the offense going again,” he said. “We needed to get our offense going. We needed to get our rushing game going and help the offense.”

Green’s 3 touchdowns came in the first half. In the third quarter, Nebraska made some adjustments to try to slow down the Cats’ rushing attack. But Green credited the offensive line for carrying the unit when it mattered.

“They’re the ones giving us the holes and the seams,” he said. “All the credit goes to the offensive line. They put the offense on their back today, and our rushing game was successful.”

Buckley, whom Fitzgerald lauded coming off last week’s game against Iowa, grew up near Green in Texas. Green said it was difficult to watch someone so close to him go down with an ugly injury, but that motivated him for the rest of the game.

“Buck’s like my little brother,” Green said. “Seeing him go down, I got a little emotional just because we were only coming into the game two deep. With him going down, it really brought me into my zone, knowing that I’m playing for him and my seniors.”

It won’t be easy for the Cats to move on from the near win in Lincoln, Neb. Green said the younger players will lean on the veterans during the bye week to move on and forget about the disastrous ending.

“Our leaders, captains and leadership council are going to make sure we are going to go back to work and get ready for the next game,” he said.

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