Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman announced earlier today that star running back Rocket Sanders is ‘out’ of Saturday’s home game vs. BYU.
Sanders missed this past Saturday’s 28-6 non-covering win over Kent St. as a 38-point home favorite. He was injured in the Razorbacks’ 56-13 win over Western Carolina as 37.5-point home ‘chalk’ in Week 1.
“Rocket will be out this week and then we’ll figure out how fast he can recover,” Pittman said during his presser today. “We have to get some swelling down. Whether we’ll have him back for LSU, I just don’t know right now.”
Sanders was a second-team All-SEC selection last year when he had 1,443 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns and an eye-popping 6.5 yards-per-carry average. He also had 28 receptions for 271 yards and two TDs.
Phil Steele’s preseason magazine had Sanders as a second-team All-American and a first-team All-SEC choice. In the opener vs. the Catamounts, he had 42 rushing yards and two TDs on 15 carries.
Without Sanders in Week 2 against the Golden Flashes, Arkansas’ running game struggled. The Razorbacks averaged merely 3.8 YPC on 45 attempts for 172 rushing yards.
Sophomore RB AJ Green had a team-high 82 rushing yards on 15 totes, while sophomore RB Rashod Dubinion had 34 rushing yards and one TD on 10 carries. Dominique Johnson was limited to eight rushing yards on seven attempts. The rest of the rushing yards came from QB KJ Jefferson, who had 48 on 13 carries.
That shaky effort on the ground from Arkansas came one week after Central Florida shredded Kent St. for 389 rushing yards on 46 attempts for an 8.5 YPC average. The Knights also had 723 yards of total offense, while the Razorbacks were limited to only 308 yards of total offense.
Arkansas thumped BYU 52-35 in Provo last year in a pick ’em affair. Sanders produced 175 rushing yards and two TDs on just 15 carries against the Cougars.
Green had 51 rushing yards on 11 attempts at BYU last season, while Dubinion had 16 rushing yards on four totes.
As of late Monday afternoon, most betting shops had Arkansas listed as a 9.5-point home favorite against the Cougars, who were +280 on the money line. The total was 51 points.