Griffith was a star player for some of the greatest Hawkeye teams ever. In 1899, he returned a punt 85 yards for a score in a 58-0 win against Illinois. A run in which the games referee R. T. Hoagland said “The dodging run of Griffith down the field for a touchdown was the best piece of individual playing that I ever saw. The men (of the 1899 Hawkeyes) are all stars; they make the best team I ever saw.” In Iowa’s first year in the Western Conference (now Big Ten) in 1900, Griffith was named team captain. They won the conference despite a 5-5 tie with Northwestern during which, all of Iowa’s players (except Griffith) were sick with food poisoning after eating a bad batch of creamed potatoes.