“There are no gamers in this business and if you can’t practice and know the gameplan from a practice standpoint and execute what’s needed, you can’t ask them to be successful on a Saturday,” McElwain said.
Nwoke injured his left ankle during the Rocky Mountain Showdown versus CU-Boulder on Sept. 1, missing a significant amount of time in the second half. The injury was the second ankle problem for Nwoke since the fall, but a separate ankle each time.
Freshman running back Donnell Alexander will start in place of the injured Nwoke. Alexander led the Rams in rushing against CU, carrying the ball eight times for 66 yards, including a 37 yard dash in the fourth quarter.
“Donnell Alexander has stepped up and taken a leadership role at the running back position,” McElwain said.
Nwoke’s injury will also give more carries to another freshman, Tommey Morris. Morris had three carries against the Buffs for four yards and a fumble. Emergency back Joe Brown, typically the H-back, will also see time at running back.
Other injury notes:
Wide receiver Thomas Coffman missed the season opener with a lower abdominal strain that he sustained during fall camp. Coffman has practiced in pads this week and may be available on Saturday according to McElwain.
Cornerback Bernard Blake has suffered from hamstring problems, which was tweaked in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. His status for Saturday is uncertain.