Nation's Second Leading Returning Rush Won't Play in Opener
It's looking like the "game time" decision talk may have been a bit of misdirection for the UAPB game. Donald Buckram has definitely been ruled out of tomorrow night's opening game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. That's not a surprise; UAPB is an FCS school and you have to think the Miners, with a running back by committee approach, can get by the Golden Lions without their biggest weapon
The real question is: Will Donald Buckram play against Houston next week?
Brett Bloomquist writes:
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, Coach Price made it seem like the injury was nothing serious, with no ligament damage, and only two bruises on the bone. Today, we're hearing that the nations 2nd leading returning rusher may miss 25% of the season. Is it possible that Price & Co. know Buckram will play next week but are trying to send messages to Kevin Sumlin that he's out? Very much so. Buckram couldn't stop talking about how much he wanted to play at Houston in front of friends and family next week when he chatted with the El Paso Times Monday.
Though Mike Price said he hopes Donald Buckram can play this week, Buckram and his position coach Jeff Banks ruled it out, and Buckram's gimpy walk made it obvious he won't be ready by Saturday. He was hopeful about playing against Houston, but this injury looks more like a three-to-four week issue.
That's my honest take at this point. I think Price's initial optimism may have been more accurate than the team is letting on at this point. I think the staff realized that Buckram isn't playing this weekend and could try to use that fact to send some misdirection to the 713.
For, now we have to ask: Who's in the stable?
Leilyon Myers, Joe Banyard, Vernon Frazier, and Jason Williams. Williams carried the ball 40 times last year and had 5 touchdowns. Frazier carried 10 times last season and had 2 touchdowns. Williams and Frazier are not speed backs, though, they are the power guys.
Look for Joe Banyard and Leilyon Myers to carry the bulk of Buckram's load on Saturday. The truth is, we won't have a real indication of whether or not Price will favor one back or go with a committee approach. If I had to guess, I'd say several backs will get carries and Price will try to use the game film to identify who gives UTEP the best chance to slug it out with the Cougars next week.
Myers can be explosive, check out this video of his highlights from Palomar JC where he played before transferring to UTEP. Can he have a Buckram like breakout?
The season is definitely off to a sour note. Here's hoping a Miner win tomorrow night will help get the terrible taste of losing Buckram out of our mouths.