Texas down to just 1 healthy running back entering big matchup vs. LSU

The running backs room for No. 10 Texas is awfully thin entering Saturday’s game against No. 6 LSU.

Longhorns head coach Tom Herman announced Monday that Jordan Whittington will have surgery for a sports hernia and is out for at least the next month. That means Texas is essentially down to one scholarship running back. It’s only Week 2.

Per the Austin American-Statesman, Herman said Whittington, a true freshman, tore his abductor muscle after catching a pass during the win over Louisiana Tech over the weekend. According to Herman, Whittington previously dealt with groin issues in high school and the injury had been bothering him during preseason camp.

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Whittington, who was UT’s No. 2 running back behind Keaontay Ingram for the season opener, is the latest in a lengthening list of banged up Texas running backs. The Longhorns were already without senior Kirk Johnson and junior Daniel Young, both of whom suffered injuries during preseason practice.

Texas RB Jordan Whittington (21) was injured in the season opener against Louisiana Tech. (Getty Images)
Texas RB Jordan Whittington (21) was injured in the season opener against Louisiana Tech. (Getty Images)

The rash of injuries caused the Texas coaching staff to move freshman Roschon Johnson from quarterback to running back a few weeks ago. Johnson was working as the team’s third-string QB during camp. On top of that, Herman said Monday that linebacker David Gbenda, another true freshman, will practice at running back until Johnson and Young are ready to return.

In the 45-14 win over Louisiana Tech, Ingram led the way with 78 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. He also caught three passes for 43 yards. Johnson rushed for 26 yards on seven attempts.

Things will get much more difficult for those guys against LSU. The Tigers allowed Georgia Southern, a team that runs the triple option, to rush for only 74 yards on 39 tries in a 55-3 beatdown.

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