HUNTINGTON -- One player could make a big difference in what Marshall's football team could see against Houston this Saturday.
Cougars running back Charles Sims, the Conference USA leader with 106.1 rushing yards per game, remains day-to-day with an ankle sprain suffered in a loss to East Carolina that kept him out of last week's loss to Tulsa.
He was not listed on the depth chart released for Houston's visit to Joan C. Edwards Stadium at noon Saturday (CSS telecast).
While Houston (4-6, 3-3) might be known for its gaudy pass numbers - the Cougars led the Football Bowl Subdivision last year with 450 passing yards a game and are 11th this year averaging 324.6 - Sims legs have meant a lot. Houston is 7-0 when the redshirt junior has run for 100 yards or more in a game in the last three years.
"He's a big-league, big-league back," Marshall defensive coordinator Chris Rippon said. "There's no other kid in the conference like (Sims)."
If Sims doesn't play, redshirt freshman Kenneth Farrow and senior Braxton Wexford are next in line.
Against Tulsa, Farrow carried the ball 15 times for 54 yards. Houston quarterback David Piland said he wasn't sure whether Sims would be ready for Saturday's game, but his chances look promising.
"He seems pretty confident and he's excited to possibly be back," Piland said. "He seems well and he's moving around."
Rippon said that, whether Sims plays or not, the Cougars won't change their strategy much.
They'll run the same plays, though they might not have the same impact if Sims isn't in the game. Marshall's defense isn't taking any chances that he won't be ready.
"We always anticipate that they'll have their best players," Rippon said. "(Sims) is in the game in my mind, and these are the plays we'll have to stop and be able to adjust to their wrinkles."
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