Saturday’s tilt in Ames a matchup of top feature backs

Gold and Blue Nation

WVU's Leddie Brown, ISU's Breece Hall share similarities

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s upcoming clash with Iowa State will feature the top two running backs in the Big 12. 

Leddie Brown and the Mountaineers will square off against Breece Hall and the Cyclones Saturday at 3:30 p.m. 

Hall, a sophomore, leads the nation in rushing yards with 1,260 and is third in the country in rushing touchdowns with 13. He was the first Division I running back to reach the century mark in rush yards this season.

Brown, a junior, has logged 897 yards on the ground this season with nine rushing touchdowns and five 100-yard games to his credit. 

WVU head coach Neal Brown said Tuesday that he sees similarities between the two running backs. 

“They both are north-south runners,” Neal Brown said. “They both catch the ball really well out of the backfield, in the screen game or on called routes or hit on check downs, and then they do a really good job of breaking tackles. If you look at, whether it’s [Pro Football Focus] or anything like that, they’re among the top in the country as far as breaking tackles.” 

In terms of rushing averages, Hall’s 140 yards per game are tops in the Big 12, while his 6.3 yards per carry rank third. Brown is second in the Big 12 in rush yards per game with 112.1. He also averages 5.4 yards per tote. 

As a freshman last season, Hall logged three rushing touchdowns in a 38-14 Cyclones win over WVU at Milan Puskar Stadium. He matched that career-high performance with three rushing scores in Iowa State’s 2020 Big 12 opener against TCU. The Cyclones prevailed in that game, 37-34. 

Saturday’s game at Jack Trice Stadium is set to air on ESPN. 

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