Will LSU turn to Ford in the backfield?
Up until his fumble in the game’s final minutes Saturday night while LSU was trying to run out the clock against North Carolina, running back Stevan Ridley was having a solid 2010 debut in the Tigers’ backfield. He had accrued 81 yards on 19 carries to lead the team, and he was positioning himself to be the lead rusher on a team with plenty of running back depth.
But in coughing up the football and allowing UNC one last chance to steal a victory, Ridley may have let his opportunity for the bulk of the carries slip away.
Is Richard Murphy positioned for more carries? Considering he also fumbled against the Tar Heels, Tigers head coach Les Miles likely has other ideas. Besides, Murphy’s -1 rushing yard on two carries didn’t exactly raise the excitement level.
The running back most likely to benefit from the Tigers’ fumbling woes is redshirt freshman Michael Ford, who surprisingly didn’t get any carries in the opener. The star of the Tigers’ spring game, Ford ran for 139 yards on 19 carries in the spring showcase and displayed a nice combination of evasiveness, speed and vision that had LSU coaches excited headed into the fall.
Whatever the reason for Ford’s absence Saturday, it’s likely that he will get his chance this Saturday at Vanderbilt in the Tigers’ SEC opener.
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