Nov. 1, 2001
William Green rushed for 195 yards on 28 carries against a Notre Dame defense that prides itself on stopping the run. This week it will only get tougher for the Irish.
The Tennessee Volunteers come to town with a running back that is better than Green. His name is Travis Stephens.
“He is a cat,” coach Bob Davie replied when asked to comment on the starting tailback for the Volunteers.
“I am impressed with him,” Davie went on to say. “We went back and looked at the ’99 tape, when they had Jamal Lewis, and I think that Stephens is a 5th year player that has waited his turn…and I am not sure they knew at the beginning of the season just how good he was going to be.
“He certainly jumped up early in the season, and he is a quick, elusive guy that really hits it down hill.”
Some NFL scouts have rated William Green the best running back as of now in the college ranks. Stephens is not that far behind in Davie’s mind.
“I heard that William Green is the number one running back in the country, but this guy is ahead of William Green NCAA statistics wise, I think he is third in the country in running.
“He has a different style in some ways, maybe a little quicker breaking to the outside, but he does run hard…I would say we have played two of the best in the last two weeks.”
Hunter making it happen this year
Last year, David Givens was the main target of Matt LoVecchio. This season, senior Javin Hunter has been the go-to-guy for quarterback Carlyle Holiday.
“He is a lot stronger and has stayed healthy,” Davie said. “It probably goes back to the summer he had.
“When he practiced in the spring, he never missed day, he had a great summer, and he stayed healthy…he has had a bunch of bumps, bruises and pulls over his first three years here.”
Davie also pointed out that Hunter has not reached his full potential yet.
“I think he is one of those guys that the best football is still ahead of him,” Davie said.
“He came here and played as a young guy, and in a lot of ways he should have a fifth year…I think he will go on and play at the next level.”