San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk, the nation’s leading rusher, probably will not play Saturday against Wyoming even though he is being listed as questionable by SDSU.
After team doctor Robert Straumfjord examined Faulk on Wednesday night, trainer Brian Barry said Faulk still has not been cleared for contact because doctors want to make sure his lung has healed. Faulk sustained fractured two ribs and a punctured lung Oct. 12 against New Mexico.
Although Barry said Faulk is questionable, SDSU Coach Al Luginbill said earlier Wednesday that Faulk will not play Saturday unless he participates in contact drills during practice. SDSU’s final practice before the Wyoming game is today.
“He’s got to have turns where he’s been hit and he feels comfortable with it and we feel comfortable with it,” Luginbill said. “Otherwise, we’re putting him at risk.”
More Faulk: He leads the nation in rushing at 163.8 yards a game, in scoring at 18.3 points a game and in touchdowns with 18, but Faulk will drop out of the official NCAA statistics if he does not play Saturday.
In order to be eligible for the official NCAA statistics, a player must have played in 75% of his team’s games. If Faulk misses the Wyoming game, he will have played in only six of nine.
Running back Wayne Pittman wore a flak jacket at Utah last Saturday similar to the one designed for Faulk.
“After Marshall’s injury, the coaches thought it would be better if all running backs wore flak jackets,” Pittman said.
But T.C. Wright said he hasn’t worn a flak jacket and didn’t know anything about it.
Pittman said he probably will wear one again Saturday even though he said it slowed him down “a little bit” at Utah. He still gained 153 yards.
Offensive lineman Carlson Leomiti (sprained right ankle) and defensive backs Gary Taylor (groin strain) and Zac Stokes (sprained right ankle) have returned to practice and will play Saturday. “Gary Taylor looked like the old Gary Taylor today,” Luginbill said. . . . Eye-raising numbers in this week’s USA Today/CNN coaches’ poll: SDSU received nine votes and USC two. . . . According to research done by John Rosenthal, SDSU sports information director, no Aztec team has come back from a larger margin on the road than the 11-point deficit facing the current Aztecs when the fourth quarter began Saturday at Utah. Down, 21-10, SDSU came back and won, 24-21.