Javarris James is looking to replace Charlie Jones, who had a pivotal fumble inside the 10-yardline in the first quarter of UM's 31-7 loss to Louisville.
"I didn't expect this, it was a goal but I am looking forward to it in case it does happen," said James, who expected to redshirt prior to the season. "I am trying to prepare and do extra stuff now."
Through the first three games of the season, James has rushed 102 yards on 18 carries—an average of 5.7 yards per carry. He has also added 63 yards receiving on three receptions.
"He's going to play a lot," Coker said. "He's earned it and is starting to pick up his role a little bit."
Although James has been productive carrying the ball, he has struggled at times with his pass blocking. With the bye week James was able to get extra work in learning his assignments.
"It's not that difficult and he has a lot of pride," Coker said. "He'll get that done, I don't have any doubts about that."
Jones has rushed for 124 yards on 32 carries—an average of 3.9 yards per carry. He leads the team with three touchdowns. Last year Jones filled in for Tyrone Moss after Moss went down with a torn ACL. Jones finished the season with 507 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
In seven career starts, Jones has not recorded a 100-yard rushing game.
MOSS STILL IN THE MIX: Senior RB Tyrone Moss is still the team's third tailback on the depth chart as he still is recovering from the ACL injury and remains behind James and Jones.
"He's in the mix and he's not a starter," Coker said. "I think there's still a few cuts he's still not fully comfortable with."
In two games, he has rushed for 84 yards on 15 carries. In 2004, Moss rushed for 148 yards against Houston. He has rushed for 1,741 yards and 25 touchdowns in his career.
Christopher Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
RB James "In Contention" to Start on Saturday
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