The TCU backfield will be closer to full strength Saturday against West Virginia with the expected return of Kyle Hicks.
The senior running back from Arlington Martin missed the Oklahoma State game with an undisclosed injury and sat out the second half of the previous game, against SMU. He also sat out the season opener against Jackson State after being limited in August practices.
“I hope so, yep,” coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday, asked if Hicks was expected back in the lineup. “He was out practicing. I think we just have to be smart. I don’t think it needs to be a 20- to 25-carry game with him. I think he just needs to work himself back in, do all of it.”
Hicks led TCU in rushing (1,042 yards), rushing touchdowns (12) and receptions (47) last season, when Patterson called him the team’s best player. He has 23 carries for 128 yards and one touchdown and three catches for 29 yards this season.
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Before this season, Hicks had played in all 39 games possible his first three years.
TCU leads the Big 12 in rushing at 232.3 yards per game behind a stable of backs.
Darius Anderson leads the league with six touchdown runs and is fourth with 422 yards. Sewo Olonilua has run for three wildcat-formation touchdowns. Kenedy Snell, KaVontae Turpin and Shaun Nixon have also gotten carries.
“It’s good to have a guy like Darius that’s really come on, and Sewo and Snell,” Patterson said. “Nixon’s had a couple of reps. It’ll be by committee as it’s always been.”