Even without an injury to starting running back Derrick Coleman, Malcolm Jones has played well enough to warrant more carries, but now that Coleman is out this weekend because of a concussion and sprained neck, Jones figures to get a heavy load this weekend against Houston.
Jones, a true freshman, has carried 10 times for 73 yards, often moving the pile for extra yardage. He's second to Johnathan Franklin in rushing, despite playing third string.
"I think he’s done enough in the first two games to merit more chances and I think he and Johnathan together are a good little duo," Coach Rick Neuheisel said.
Jones has been nursing injuries since Fall camp, but is finally healthy and is No. 2 on the running back depth chart behind Franklin, who has 135 yards in 24 carries. Jordon James, another true freshman, got an increased workload in practice and looked as good as he has since camp opened. He's No. 3 on the depth chart and should get some carries against Houston.
"Finding room for all three of them could be a little problem," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said.
James has not yet played because he strained his hamstring early in Fall camp and missed more than two weeks, but Chow said they are not trying to save his redshirt year.
"We play to win now," Chow said. "We’re not going to redshirt him so somebody else can coach him."