Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough may be “ahead of schedule” with his injured knee, but the Crimson Tide won’t have the 5-star running back available until the fifth game of the season, AL.com’s Matt Zenitz reports.
Per Zenitz, Nick Saban said following Alabama’s Thursday practice that Bo Scarbrough’s four-game suspension is NCAA-mandated, thus he must “respect what they say about amateurism.”
The nature of Bo Scarbrough’s suspension is unclear otherwise at this time. More certain is that his absence leaves a running back platoon — typically the deepest position on a given Alabama offense — is somewhat thin.
The Tide lost Altee Tenpenny to transfer earlier this offseason, following an arrest for marijuana possession. Kenyan Drake is working on his return from a devastating leg break suffered midway through last season. Freshman Damien Harris will get carries behind Derrick Henry, perhaps ahead of schedule, as a result of the unit’s uncertainty.
Bo Scarbrough’s absence ostensibly puts added pressure on the still-developing quarterback situation. The multiple-man competition to take over for Blake Sims remains a mystery and, no matter who wins the job, Alabama’s new quarterback is throwing to a largely rebuilt wide receiving corps.
Depending on how the Tide’s passing game is developing through the first month, Bo Scarbrough coming back as a wide receiver hardly seems outlandish. At 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, with good speed for his size, he could be a possession receiver.
Jay Drew, The Salt Lake Tribune
Bo Scarbrough wasn’t the only running back scratched Thursday: BYU lost Jamaal Williams to undisclosed rules violations.
Williams’ suspension is more profound on a few levels. The Cougars lose the star back for the entire campaign, leaving a gaping hole in the backfield. BYU knows firsthand the trouble that can cause, as it embarked on a struggle-filled second half of his 2014 slate with Williams out due to injury.
The Cougars averaged a middling 4.17 yards per carry for the season. In games without him, their YPC including outputs of 3.86 (UCF), 2.74 (Cal) and 1.83 (Memphis). Of course, BYU’s run-game woes were compounded by losing dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill to injury.
Keeping a healthy Hill in the lineup is now more important than ever for BYU to avoid a rough start. With an opening docket of road trips to Nebraska, UCLA and Michigan, and home game against Boise State — which held BYU below 3 YPC with Williams in the lineup — the Cougars could face a deep hole early.
The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns will honor the victims of the theater shooting in ULL’s community last month.
Ragin’ Cajun head coach Mark Hudspeth discussed the attitude of the community at ULL’s media day event this week:
“I couldn’t be more proud of this community, I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this community because of the way this community has rallied in the last few weeks since the horrible tragedy that took place. The community support and what I saw at Cajun Field, and now what I see driving home every day with all the Lafayette Strong signs out in the community, it’s unbelievable.”