When De'Vion Moore left the field early in the Arizona State game, sophomore TB Henry Josey 5'10" 186 was called upon to carry the load. Josey turned in quite a performance, with 94 yards on 9 carries, and 51 yards on two receptions.
Heading into the Western Illinois game, Josey is expected to start, and again carry the load.
On Monday, Coach Pinkel said that in an effort to protect Josey, he will not be returning kick-offs, and that they would try to go easy on him in practice. On Tuesday, Josey practiced in a red pull-over, consistent with the staff's intentions to keep him fresh for Saturdays.
"In reference to him playing and practicing, we've got to be smart, there's no question, about how we practice him, also," explained Coach Pinkel. "We can't practice him like there are three running backs there. We try to be pretty physical in our practices, with all of our running backs. We have what we call thud period on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But, we're going to have to watch what we do. He's just going to have to really focus, and make sure that he holds onto the football."
"(Josey's) a player that we really thought was an electrifying type guy in high school," said Coach Pinkel, talking about his sophomore TB. "He's just a real talented guy. He's got great quickness. He's very, very good in space. When he gets out there, he's hard to deal with in space. Really, it didn't surprise us that he performed like that, and made big plays. His upside is tremendous! He'll just get better, and better, and better."
Josey talked about the increased role that he had to take on at Arizona State.
"I knew I had to step up and (fill) some big shoes for the team," said Josey, talking about his performance against Arizona State. "I had to help the team any way that I could."
Late in regulation, Josey broke up the left sideline for a big gain that put Missouri in position to try to score. He said that at first, he thought he would score. Then he saw that the safety had "a very good angle" on him. He said he thought about cutting back inside, but decided to stay near the sideline, rather than risk being tackled in the field of play, and having precious time run off of the clock.
I asked Josey about getting his first start this Saturday.
"This will be my first game starting," said Josey. "I don't think it will be any different than coming in for the second or third series. It's the same, another game. I love (to play) the game!"
I asked Josey if he's physically prepared to carry the ball 20-25 times a game?
"I love having the ball in my hands," replied Josey. "I'm physically prepared for it. I'm looking forward to it, if I do get that many carries. It wouldn't slow me down. No, none at all………………………………… I see them coming, and I try not to take too many big hits."
I asked Josey about the rest of the season.
"We're determined," said Josey. "We're motivated. Always, 1-0, accept the challenge."