Sharing The Load

Sophomore Javarris James and freshman Graig Cooper shared time in the offensive backfield on Saturday and both players were very impressive. Read on to see what both players were talking about after the game...

Javarris James and Graig Cooper were listed as co-starters on the depth chart when Randy Shannon released it on Tuesday of this past week. On Saturday, James started but both players were actively involved in the big win for the Hurricanes.

James finished the game with 14 carries for 99 yards and two scores. Cooper carried the ball 12 times for 116 yards. Perhaps the most impressive part was that neither player lost any yardage on any of their 26 runs. James talked about the advantage of having Cooper around.

"It definitely takes a lot of pressure off of you," James said. "Usually in the game when you get tired you have to fight through it but I know if I get tired and I can't give 100-percent on the play, this guy is gonna come in and do the same or probably better. Actually, I was glad when he came in."

Cooper was happy to have gotten almost the same number of touches as his older and more experienced teammate.

"It was real cool for Coach Shannon to come up with the idea," Cooper said.

James finished with 99 yards and it could be the start of a big sophomore season for James, who said he feels much better this season.

"My confidence (is the biggest difference)," he said. "Last year coming in as a freshman I was more nervous. The best thing I liked about the game (today) is I didn't allow any sacks."

James scored both touchdowns but it was with the help of Cooper wearing down the defense along with him.

"I wanted him to score two touchdowns," James said. "It's a great feeling. We startd off this year with a band and hopefully we can continue."

After nearly a month of practicing against their own teammates, both players were glad to have a chance to run against an opposing team.

"We practice this type of speed all day every day," Cooper said. "It wasn't too much different for me."

James spoke about running against the Thundering Herd.

"It's good to finally get the butterflies and go against someone else," he said.

James and Cooper, who are roommates, are using the situation to benefit them both. James talked about the duo working together.

"We talked the whole game," he said. "If he sees something, he'll come and tell me. We've been encouraging each other. We studied the playbook together."

With a four touchdown win over Marshall, the Canes got off to a good start on Saturday. James understands it's only the first step towards reaching the team's ultime goal.

"It's definitely special for me," he said. "After the game, we realized we have 11 more steps to go."

Next up is a trip to Norman, Oklahoma to take on a Sooner team that will likely be very difficult to run against. Both running backs are up for the challenge.

"I'm ready," James said, while Cooper added, "you gotta be ready."

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