MiscellaneousRunning back Earnest Byner needs 103 yards to...

Ravens notebook

September 12, 1997|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF


Running back Earnest Byner needs 103 yards to surpass No. 18 Gerald Riggs and 104 yards to overtake Roger Craig for 17th on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Byner, though, is downplaying the pursuit.

"I really don't think about it," he said. "Ever since I can remember, as far as sandlot ball, I've always been a standout and always gotten awards. But that's not what I'm about or stand for. Sometimes, though, I do look around at all the trophies and say, 'Wow, this is all unbelieveable that this is happening to me. This really doesn't seem real.' "

The Ravens are holding opponents to fewer than 1.97 yards per rush on first down. The defense has eight sacks after two games; it had 30 all of last year. The Giants are one of three NFC teams with 10 300-pound players. The Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams are the other two.

There was a time not long ago when opposing quarterbacks didn't often challenge Giants cornerback Phillippi Sparks. That won't be the case Sunday when the Ravens come to Giants Stadium for what is expected to be Sparks' first game of the

regular season. The six-year veteran missed the first two games of the season after being diagnosed with viral hepatitis about a week before the season opener.

Pub Date: 9/12/97

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