Bloomington – Bill Lynch isn't ready to hand all of the keys to the IU running game over to Darius…
Willis' Availability In Doubt
We'll find out Saturday.
The 6'0", 220-pound redshirt freshman is listed as questionable on the Hoosiers' most recent injury report released Friday morning. Willis is nursing a right ankle injury suffered early in the fourth quarter of last week's 33-14 loss to Ohio State.
Earlier in the week, IU Coach Bill Lynch expressed optimism about Willis' ability to be ready in time for tomorrow's 3:30 p.m. match-up in Charlottesville.
"I expect him to be ready to go," Lynch said Tuesday. "He is like any running back in the Big Ten who is going to get beat up."
Willis leads Indiana in rushing yards (244), rushing attempts (45) and rushing touchdowns (3) through the season's first five weeks despite missing the Western Michigan game with an injury. He's the fourth-leading rusher in Big Ten games with 27 carries for 175 yards, with 152 of those yards coming two weeks ago against Michigan.
If Willis is unable to play, Indiana will likely turn to Demetrius McCray and Trea Burgess to split carries. McCray had a 17-carry, 134-yard effort against Western Michigan when Willis was out injured and has started three games. Burgess, meanwhile, has often been the short-yardage choice of the staff this year and ha 36 carries for 107 yards and two scores.
Also listed on the Hoosiers' injury report are defensive end Fred Jones (foot – out), defensive end Darius Johnson (shoulder – out), linebacker Leon Beckum (ankle – out), offensive lineman Justin Pagan (ankle – probable) and offensive lineman James Brewer (ankle – probable).
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