Kansas running back Brandon Bourbon will gain some more carries after fellow back James Sims was suspended for the first three games of the season after a DUI. Sims has put himself into a poor situation that will help Bourbon gain more attention. He missed the last three games of the 2011 season with a leg injury, and some are not sure if he is ready to take on the increased role.
“(Bourbon) is as close to being at full-speed as you can be,” Charlie Weis said. “I am not going to let him go full-speed because he had an injury that takes six months to be fully healed. Although he is running around full-speed out there at practice, I am always going to error on the side of caution and make sure that I have him fully ready to go.”
As a freshman last year, he had 190 yards on just 28 carries for an average of 6.8 yards per carry. Brandon Bourbon also caught three passes for 23 yards and had a rushing touchdown. Bourbon also took 14 returns for 273 yards (19.5 per return) and showed plenty of presence as a frosh with the Kansas Jayhawks.
The 6’1″, 220 pound back will be a sophomore next season and has the upside to get to 800 rushing yards and look no further than his game at Texas Tech. Sims had 24 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown, but he averaged only 3.5 yards per carry. Bourbon, on the other hand, reached the 100-yard mark on just 10 carries (10.1 YPC) with those yards coming off of a big 51-yard TD in the first quarter to give Kansas a 13-0 lead.
Statistics can be misleading, especially when a high YPC average comes from a long run. However, Brandon Bourbon has shown that he can legitimately get 5+ yards per pop and should be able to hold up and run well. He’s still healing, and I think that Bourbon compliments Sims well. Sims should get the short-yardage carries and is a workhorse back, while Bourbon is the home-run back who averages more yards per carry. Either one of them can start, and it is best if each of them gets around 100 carries in a time-share role.
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