BERKELEY -- With about nine minutes left in Saturday's game against San Diego State, California senior running back Daniel Lasco ran for a long nine yards, and then went down. He was gingerly escorted off the field, and did not play for the rest of the game, having rushed 19 times for 123 yards.
After the game, head coach Sonny Dykes said that Lasco had sustained a hip injury. On Tuesday, Dykes gave a bit more clarity to the situation surrounding his top running back, a two-time Doak Walker Award Watch List member, going into Saturday's road tilt against Texas.
“It’s completely, honestly, day-by-day with him, seeing how he feels, seeing where he is," Dykes said. "Any time you have a muscle pull, there’s going to be a day or two where there’s some swelling that takes place, and once you get that under control, you can start the healing. I think we’re there. I think we’re into the healing part of it. I still feel the same way I felt Sunday. I think more than likely he’ll play."
Lasco has a personal stake in this game, as his uncle -- Sammy O'Brient -- was part of the Wrecking Crew defense at Texas A&M, and had many protracted battles against the Longhorns.
O'Brient was a four-year letterman for the Aggies, earned all-conference honors in 1987 and still ranks among the all-time single-season record holders in solo tackles (25 in 1984, 14th) and total tackles (58 in 1984, 10th).
"I've got Aggie in my blood, so I've never, ever really liked Texas, at all, even when they were recruiting me, so that's kind of one of those big things where it's always been a rival in my family," Lasco said back during bowl prep for the 2011 Holiday Bowl against the Longhorns, where Lasco was a redshirting freshman. "No one's ever liked Texas."
Should Lasco not be able to answer the bell on Saturday, the Bears are quite deep at running back, with backups Vic Enwere (like Lasco, a Texas native), speedy Khalfani Muhammad, Tre Watson and Jeffrey Coprich in the rotation.
"The good thing is, we’ve got lots of depth at running back," said Dykes. "We’re certainly hoping he can play, but we’ll see where we’re at.”
Though he's a fifth-year senior, Dykes said that Lasco would have to practice at some point this week in order to play.
“Yeah. I think everybody’s got to practice to play," Dykes said. "I just think it’s a game of timing and rhythm, and you can lose your timing and rhythm pretty quickly. He’ll have to practice.”
Dykes indicated that Lasco will have to practice Thursday and/or Friday, at the minimum.