MEMPHIS — Just one game into the 2019 season and the Tigers are dealing with an injury to one of their top playmakers, senior running back Patrick Taylor, the guy picked to step into the huge hole left by the departures of both Darrell Henderson and Tony Pollard to the NFL.
After running for 128 yards and a touchdown last week against Ole Miss, Taylor has already been scratched from this Saturday’s game against Southern after he was forced to leave the Tigers win over the Rebels, late in the fourth quarter with a lower leg injury, an injury that’s left Taylor in a walking boot.
So that means more reps for the young guys like Kenny Gainwell, who ran for 77 yards and carried the ball eight straight times to close out the game Saturday, though Gainwell wants more. “I believe my performance was good but I feel I could have done better. I worked real hard for the offseason. I think my game could have been better. I’m not satisfied. I’ll come harder this week. I gotta keep working,” said the redshirt freshman from Yazoo City, Mississippi.
Gainwell and the Tigers other talented stable of young running backs will get their chance to shine on Saturday. “There will be a lot of guys stepping up. It’ll start with Kenny Gainwell, Kylan Watkins. Rodrigues Clark will be out there a little bit. (Tim)Taylor. A lot of guys, Traveon Samuel. For us, we have a lot of depth in that room. Now I think they’ll get a chance to pick up their workload. A guy goes down, the next guy steps up, picks up the flag and we keep rolling. We tried to build that depth throughout spring. Fall camp as well and we tried to instill that confidence in our kids that, we’re not going to lose one beat. We’ll just keep on going,” said Tigers’ Offensive Coordinator Kevin Johns.