Marcus Houston will suit up Sunday

Head Coach Gary Barnett made it clear that if Marcus Houston did not practice on Wednesday, he would not play against Fresno State in the Buffs opener on Sunday.

Marcus Houston, who has been slowed by a groin injury, dressed in full pads and participated in practice for the first time since early in the fall. Houston took a few hits as he participated in limited drills but was excited to be back on the field.

"It's coming along good. I had a good week of rehab. I have no predictions for Sunday but I am getting ready and excited".

Here's how the running back situation stacks up for the Buffs. Junior College transfer Chris Brown will get his first Division 1 start against Fresno State and Bobby Purify will be the backup.

Brown transferred from Fort Scott College where he rushed for over 1,200 yds and 13 TDs last season. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound running back left Northwestern after his freshman season in 1999. He was recruited by Gary Barnett, but never played for him after CU hired Barnett away.

Also, Senior running-back Cortlan Johnson practiced for the third time this week after he was sidelined with an ankle injury he sustained in CU's first scrimmage August 11th. Originally thought to be out for the game with the Bulldogs, there is a very good chance he could see some playing time Sunday.

Even with Marcus Houston not 100%, CU running back Coach Eric Beiniemy is very confident in starter Chris Brown.

"He's been studying and is ready. Not only can he be a physical runner, but he also has quick feet. When a defender thinks he's about to run him over, he makes them miss."

Brown will have a chance to roam Sunday. Fresno State lost all three of their starting linebackers from last season and is not known for stellar defense.