CHAMPAIGN - The Illinois running back carousel continues.
Illinois officially lists Ke'Shawn Vaughn as "doubtful" against the Gophers after the freshman running back leaving last Saturday's game against Ohio State with a concussion. But he may be replaced as the No. 2 running back with the likely return of junior Henry Enyenihi, who is officially listed as "probable" after missing the last two games with a knee sprain.
Vaughn has played in every game this season and leads the Illini with 661 yards (4.6 yards per carry). He ran for a career high 180 rushing yards two weeks ago against Purdue, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.
Senior starter Josh Ferguson 563 rushing yards (5.9 ypc), will carry most of the load. He actually averages more rushing yards per game (80.4) than Vaughn (66.1) but missed three Big Ten games with an injured shoulder.
Ferguson has struggled to stay fresh and effective late in games, a concern Saturday with Vaughn out. But the return of Enyenihi (58 rushing yards, 2.9 ypc) should give the Illini a slightly better backup option. If Enyenihi and Vaughn were both sidelined, senior walk-on Cameron Tucker (seven carries, 33 yards) would be Ferguson's main backup.
“In today’s world, you got to have two (running backs),” Cubit said earlier this week. “And it really helps to have three. That way you keep those guys fresh.”
Injuries have ravaged the Illini running back corps this season. Four of the top five backs will be unavailable for Saturday's game. Freshmen Dre Brown (ACL) and Reggie Corbin (labrum) have missed the entire season with injuries.
Memorial Stadium // Champaign, Ill.
Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 // 11 am CT // ESPNews