Brandon Bourbon and Taylor Cox, the top two running backs at Kansas, will both be out for the season. Both players plan to continue their graduate education at Kansas this year and petition for a sixth year of eligibility due to injury.
Bourbon suffered an ACL tear in a scrimmage this past Sunday and Cox tore his Achilles tendon in a non-contact drill on Monday. Bourbon was first on the depth chart for playing time this year while Cox was practicing with the second team. Bourbon and Cox were both looking forward to the opportunity of replacing Jason Sims this 2014 season.
With the loss of the two planned starting running backs, JC transfer De’Andre Mann, and freshman Corey Avery will have to step up. Although Bourbon and Cox were not the key playmakers in KU’s offense, it is a painful loss at a position where experience is vital. The Jayhawks need a strong running game to keep pressure off of sophomore QB Montell Cozart. Head coach Charlie Weis moved freshman Joe Dineen from safety to running back to improve offensive depth.
Kansas struggled last year including a six game losing streak and was hopeful for a better season this year. With the loss of their two key running backs, it will be hard to bounce back quickly.
The Jayhawks start the season against Southeastern Missouri State on September 6.