James or Quizz?

LaMichael James and Jacquizz Rodgers: two young men from the most football oriented part of America that took their game to a couple of small cities in Oregon. "LaMike" is the catch phrase for James with Oregon Duck faithful. "Quizz" is the handle used to address the younger Rodgers brother by everyone in the country.

The debate for supremacy with these two players could be compared to Ford vs. Chevy, Coke vs. Pepsi or Chocolate vs. Vanilla.

They both have a tremendous amount of strengths and little weaknesses, yet they have completely different running styles. One is known for being a tough runner with great vision, the other a flashy type with great feet and breakaway speed.

Just what defines a great running back? Is it overall yardage? Is it yards per carry? Is it touchdowns? Something has to be said for receiving ability. Running speed is always something the pro scouts look for so it has to be factored in. Field vision is an important factor to consider for any ball carrier. How heavily a player is relied upon is something voters look to at season's end for individual awards. How do other coaches and experts view them? The last thing to look at is the big play threat. Can you expect fireworks every time the player touches the football?

"You're only as good as your last game" is a phrase coined by coaches near and far, but for this comparison we'll use the 2009 season.

The overall rushing yard advantage is very tight but goes to James with 106 more yards on the ground. The yards-per-carry average is strongly in LaMichael's favor with 43 fewer carries and an average of 1.4 ypc more. If you factor in they have over 200 carries, that's a big deal. If you gave James an extra 43 carries at 6.7 yards (2009 season average) his season total would go up by 288 yards. To Quizz's defense Oregon was a much more run oriented team with six players receiving 20 or more carries to the Beavers three.

Touchdowns are a landslide for Quizz with seven more than James. An argument some could have in this comparison is offensive style. Jeremiah Masoli kept the ball as much as he gave it near the goal line. If you combine Masoli and James' rushing touchdowns it adds up to 27 and Sean Canfield had none for Oregon State in 2009. This of course is another topic completely. For this discussion we'll give Quizz the nod with 42 more points on the scoreboard than James, which is substantial.

Receiving yards are on the side of Quizz with 354 more than LaMike. James' yards-per-catch average was quite higher but Oregon State had over 100 more completions than the Ducks. Quizz catches the ball a lot more and produces so he earns this category.

The speed question is pretty obvious with LaMichael posting a 10.62-second showing in the 100 meter and 6.77 second in the 60-meter indoor this past year for the Oregon track team. James isn't finished either saying; "I feel like I can get down to 10.4 or 10.3."

Quizz isn't slow by any means, but James gets this one hands down.

How important each of these players is to his respective team is strongly in Rodger's favor touching the ball an unbelievable 351 times. In case you were wondering that's over 100 more times than James.

Both of these great backs were voted first-team All Pac-10 and included on various All-American lists so it's a push here.

James is arguably the best big play threat in the nation having more gains of over 20 yards than any other player in all of college football.

Having compared these main general factors the players tie 4-4. Who would have guessed that?

It looks like the only difference in greatness between these two star running backs is fan alliance and what style you like more. These two are very similar to the Emmitt Smith vs. Barry Sanders debate that every hardcore football fan has taken part in at least once in their life. It's the classic flash and bang vs. the blue-collar worker.

If you're even in the state of Oregon on a fall Saturday and you want to see a great running back you have two options and both are worth the price of admission. They play 47 miles apart but the way they play the game is worlds apart.

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