Young receivers must step up against TCU

Starting slot receiver Cole Beasley is "likely" out this weekend, so young receivers, such as sophomores Jeremy Johnson and redshirt freshman Der'rikk Thompson will be asked to fill the void and help the Mustangs upset the Frogs.

Senior slot receiver Cole Beasley is "likely" out for this weekend's game against TCU.

He's been observing practices all week with a knee brace and said that an MRI from Monday showed a tear in some tissue near his MCL (injury is similar to a sprained MCL). In other words, it could have been a lot worse.

Beasley leads the team with 31 receptions for 376 yards, so the Mustangs will have to dig into their depth chart for a replacement.

"Next pony up," said Zach Line. "Cole has played awesome for us, but we have guys that can step up."

The guy that can't wait for his opportunity is sophomore Jeremy Johnson, who came in for Beasley after he got hurt against Memphis and had three receptions for 31 yards.

"I feel good about stepping in for Beas," Johnson said. "I've learned a lot by watching him and I'm just ready."

Johnson, who played quarterback in high school at John Tyler (Tyler, Texas), says the biggest thing he's learned from playing behind Beasley about the wide receiver position is patience.

"On the field I have more time than I think I have," Johnson said.

He also mentioned that the toughest part about moving from quarterback to wideout has been route running, but he feels confident and ready for his first collegiate start against a top 20 opponent.

"He's going to have to grow up fast," June Jones said of the youngster.

Keenan Holman (ankle) will also probably be sidelined for the TCU game. He's been dressed out in practice this week, but has been limited and jogs very gingerly. Wednesday, While his teammates ran sprints after practice, Holman worked out his abs instead.

But redshirt freshman Der'rikk Thompson, who started in lieu of Holman last weekend and had six receptions for 104 yards including a 44-yard touchdown catch, is ready again.

"He made some plays," Jones said of Thompson. "He slipped and caught a ball, made a vertical play on the long pass…each game he plays I'm hoping he gets better and better and more confident."

Other guys who will be asked to step up without Beasley this weekend will be Darius Johnson, who's had 27 catches for 398 yards and two touchdowns this season, and Terrance Wilkerson, who's had 13 catches for 183 yards so far.

Senior Bradley Haynes and freshman Darius Joseph will also be in the rotation.

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