The TCU Horned Frogs were dealt a huge blow on Wednesday with the news that their leading rusher, Waymon James will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury. James apparently was injured in Saturday’s game against Kansas. If approved, James will be able to medical redshirt and have two more seasons of eligibility left.
At the time of the injury, James was averaging 9.9 yards on 17 carries with 168 total yards. He had 1 touchdown in the Frogs first two games. TCU head coach Gary Patterson wouldn’t elaborate on Tuesday during his press conference and actually went on to say that James would be a game-time decision.
Luckily for TCU, they still have Matthew Tucker, who is their other featured running back. Tucker has 19 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown so far on the season. Before the injury, No. 17 TCU was one of only 5 schools in the FBS to have 2 returning 700+ yard backs. Stepping into their first year in the Big XII with a pair of talented backs only helped their case of making an impact in the conference right away.
Patterson in his press conference yesterday:
A year ago I had three tailbacks that had a chance to be draft choices and now you have a possibility to be down to one of them In my profession you can’t worry about the guy that goes down. It’s got to be about the next guy needs to step up. Matthew had the best spring and summer of all of them. He’s been a great running back for us for a while.
Even if Tucker didn’t have the best Spring and Summer, he is going to need to step-up and produce now. True Freshman B.J. Catalon and senior Aundre Dean are two players that will most likely see the field more. Dean is a UCLA transfer who has had 29 yards on 8 carries, while Catalon has had 61 yards on 15 carries. According to Patterson, it is also possible that backup QB Trevone Boykin could see some playing time in the backfield.
Things could get interesting for the Horned Frogs unless Patterson and Co can re-establish a running game. This may not be the inaugural Big XII season the Horned Frog loyal wanted to see.