Sims doubtful against Tulsa, freshmen duo step into role
After suffering an ankle injury late in the second quarter against East Carolina, redshirt junior running back Charles Sims is expected to miss Saturday’s game against Tulsa.
Sims is the Cougars’ leading rusher and ranks third in that Conference USA category with 849 yards and 11 touchdowns despite not playing against UCLA and missing time against UTEP and East Carolina. UH is expected to rely on a trio of running backs, including freshman Kenneth Farrow, to help fill the void.
“Kenneth is a guy who is getting better every week,” said head coach Tony Levine. “The one play that describes him best was our final offensive play against East Carolina. He got the ball four yards from the line of scrimmage. There were six East Carolina defenders around him. Next thing you know, he makes two of them miss, then runs over the starting free safety for a touchdown.”
Farrow is second in rushing, behind Sims, and has compiled 253 yards on 48 carries and two touchdowns while competing in all nine games this season. UH should also see time from freshman running back Ryan Jackson, who has played in eight games, accounting for 112 yards and a touchdown.
“I think Farrow is an amazing athlete,” said redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Rowdy Harper. “Jackson’s been going great this year. I don’t think it will be much different. I think we’ll still try to run the ball and whoever the running back is will be able to gain yards.”
Against East Carolina, the Cougars rushed for only 28 yards as a team and will face the difficulty of moving the ball against a Tulsa defense that ranks 25th nationally and first in C-USA in stopping the run.
“They do a tremendous job on the defensive line,” Levine said. “Our offensive line has to be disciplined to execute their blocks and control the line of scrimmage. It’ll be a great challenge for our offensive line.”