After a tough loss to TCU came even worse news on Monday. Coach Christensen announced that RB Ghaali Muhammad was done for the season after suffering what appeared to be a knee injury in the first quarter against TCU. This is a big blow to the Wyoming running game that had been so productive this year. As a team the Cowboys have 1442 yards rushing through 8 games in 2011, last year they totaled just 1434.
Entering the game Muhammad was leading the team in rushing and finishes the season with 60 carries for 379 yards an average of 6.32 yards per carry. He also scored two touchdowns and caught eight passes for 52 yards. This was his first year playing running back after spending the previous season at linebacker. At 6-0 225 he brought a power run game that had been missing for the Cowboys. In positive news Christensen said that expects Muhammad to be fully healthy for spring practice.
Wyoming had started off rotating Muhammad, Alvester Alexander and Brandon Miller at running back to start the year. Lately the focus has shifted to the first getting most of the carries while Miller split time at receiver. Instead of moving Miller back to running back full time Coach Christensen has decided he is going to pull the redshirt from true freshmen Kody Sutton.
This is obviously a big move to burn a redshirt so late in the season. But when you think about it does make sense here. There are four games left in the regular season and the Cowboys need just two victories to become bowl eligible. So that is a potential fifth game in which Sutton could play. The ideal situation would be for Muhammad to stay healthy and Sutton keep his red shirt but that isn't happening here.
The offense has been productive with Miller playing more at receiver and he should stay in that role. Alexander can't carry the load all by himself. The offense needs as many weapons as possible since the defense certainly likes to give up plenty of points. Sutton certainly had a strong fall camp performance but they had him redshirt due to the depth at running back. He is listed generously at 5-8 190 but has plenty of moves and opposing teams don't have any collegiate tape on him. Here is his high school highlight tape in case you've never seen it.