LaMichael James is probably going to miss Saturday night's showdown between the Oregon Ducks and Arizona State Sun Devils. There is a chance the elusive running back manages to play, but James would be nowhere near his normal self and a big hit could do even more damage to his dislocated right elbow.
While the Ducks would certainly miss their Heisman candidate, they are not without capable backups to help carry the load. As David Leon Moore of USA Today explains, Oregon has plenty of options:
Without (James), how will the Ducks get anywhere near their fifth-in-the-nation average of 312.6 rushing yards?
"Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Tra Carson are the next guys up if (James) can't go, and nothing changes," according to head coach Chip Kelly.
Kelly and his squad certainly have multiple players to throw at the ASU defense. Whether they will be effective or not will likely determine who wins the Pac-12 showdown.
"It's pretty crazy how many running backs we have who can play," says Barner, a junior from Riverside, Calif. "Sometimes we just kind of look at all the guys and laugh."
Funny, Pac-12 defenses don't laugh much when they look at all of the Oregon guys.
"They have so much depth," Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson says. "You take Barner, you take De'Anthony Thomas - who we tried to recruit - and they're special."
All eyes will be on Autzen Stadium this evening. Will Oregon's bevy of rushing attack options prove to be too much for the Sun Devils? Or will the potential loss of a Heisman candidate cost Oregon a chance to move up in the polls? We'll find out in just a couple of hours.
For more on Oregon football, check out Addicted To Quack.