A tumultuous year for N.C. State's running backs will end against Louisville in Tuesday's Belk Bowl in Charlotte.
It'll end with James Washington again firmly established as the No. 1 rusher.
But it was only a year ago - during preparations for what turned out to be 23-7 Champs Bowl win over West Virginia - that Washington apparently had been overtaken by exciting freshman Mustafa Greene.
That's when the carousel ride began.
Although Greene scored a touchdown on a pass from Russell Wilson in the bowl win, Washington had one of his best games of the 2010 season, rushing for 64 yards to Greene's 13.
Shortly into spring drills, Greene suffered a foot injury that eventually resulted in two surgeries and his absence during the entire 2011 schedule.
Greene's injury led little-used Curtis Underwood to return to the team. Underwood had planned to transfer to North Alabama, but stayed on after meeting with Pack coach Tom O'Brien.
Then in the very first game, a win over Liberty, Underwood had his best game ever: 14 carries, 111 yards and a touchdown.
In the 11 games since, Underwood has fallen off the radar yet again, Washington has re-emerged (854 yards), freshman Tony Creecy (366 yards) has become the primary backup, and Greene's future isn't at all clear.
O'Brien said Tuesday that Greene's availability for spring work hasn't been determined.
"When we took him (out) for the rest of the year (in October), it was my understanding that he would be in spring practice, but I haven't asked (team doctors) about that," O'Brien said.
"Tony Creecy has really improved and helped that position as the year's gone on. James, coming into last year, was going to be the back until he hurt himself in preseason camp with an ankle and really didn't get healthy until the last month of the season. And Mustafa burst on the scene and had a great year."
Washington, a junior from Orlando, Fla., has been surprisingly durable for a guy liberally listed at 6-feet and 185 pounds.
Creecy, who played at Southern Durham High, is listed at 6-0, 196, but neither has consistently exhibited the explosiveness displayed by Greene (6-0, 201) in 2010.
Washington's off-season goal is to add 10 pounds, improve his lower-body strength and keep his job if challenged by Greene, Creecy or anyone else.
"Next year will be my senior year, and I don't plan on letting anyone take my spot," Washington said.
"Coming into this season, I didn't know if I'd get the ball as much as I did. But I was able to get established and get the ball enough to have a good year. I'm not going to go back."
Washington said although Greene has been busy in rehab, the two talk occasionally.
"We all hang out together some. All the running backs are close, but it's competitive on the field," he said.
Washington has an outside chance to clear the 1,000 yard mark in the bowl. State has not produced one since T.A. McLendon's 1,101 yards as a freshman in 2002.
"I think about 1,000 yards every day and 146 is the number, but it's still all about getting the win," Washington said.
Entering that Champs Bowl last year, Washington had only 153 yards for the season.
It's been that kind of year for N.C. State's runners.