Tech RBs Craft, Martin have broken bones in hand – Monroe News Star

Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon didn’t want to come off the field last Thursday against Western Kentucky as he totaled 27 touches, the most he’s had in a game since last November.

Now we know why.

The Bulldogs didn’t have much of a choice other than to ride Dixon since his two backups were unavailable with hand injuries.

Tech coach Skip Holtz said Monday that reserve running backs Jarred Craft and Blake Martin are both dealing with broken bones in their hand. Martin broke his hand last week and wore a cast in a 41-38 loss to Western Kentucky. He didn’t receive any offensive touches but played on special teams. Craft, meanwhile, broke his thumb in the first quarter.

“They’ll both be able to play (this weekend against Kansas State) but they’ll be very limited as ball carriers,” Holtz said. “One has to carry it right and the other has to carry it left so they can carrier the ball in the proper arm.”

Martin carried it seven times for 45 yards in the season opener against Southern. Craft had just two carries for 6 yards.

The injuries thrust fourth-string running back Boston Scott into Dixon’s primary backup. Scott saw a few snaps to give Dixon a breather but didn’t record a touch.

True freshman Jaqwis Dancy also saw his first meaningful game action at running back against FBS competition.

“It’s going to make Jaqwis Dancy grow up that much faster,” Holtz said. “There’s a reason we pulled the redshirt off him. We think he’s a very talented player. By the time we get into the middle of the season and really get into conference play, he’s a guy that needs to be a very valuable contributor for our football team.”

OFFENSIVE LINE INJURY UPDATE

Tech played with David Mahaffaey, its fourth-string center, against Western Kentucky due to a slew of injuries at the center position. Starter Kirby Wixson was held out with a shoulder injury while backups Joseph Brunson and Cam Manning were also sidelined.

Brunson (ankle) and Manning have missed the first two games of the season.

“Brunson started running a little bit more last night,” Holtz said. “I feel confident that he has a chance to be back. I think Cam Manning has a chance to be back.

“I don’t know with Kirby. It’s kind of a day-to-day thing with Kirby. We really gotta figure out what’s going on. At least we can get Brunson and Cam Manning back it will help create a little bit more of the depth for us.”

Mahaffey, normally Tech’s starting left guard, slide over to center with true freshman O’Shea Dugas getting his first collegiate start. Dugas will start again if all three centers are unavailable.

“He’s shown he’s going to be a really good player as he continues to get this experience,” Holtz said.

AARON BROWN RETURNS FROM SUSPENSION

Tech’s defensive line gets a boost this weekend with the return of Aaron Brown, who served a two-game academic suspension to start the season.

Brown was expected to start the season at defensive tackle before the suspension. He played in 11 games last year with 15 tackles. As of Monday, Brown is listed on the two-deep depth chart along with an “or” between Tyler Porter.

Porter, Cedric Johnson and Courtney Wallace filled in by committee with Brown out. Porter had a sack against Southern, Wallace recovered a fumble against Southern and Johnson recorded a tackle.

“He’s a big factor,” Tech senior linebacker Beau Fitte said of Brown. “He’s a big role to our team. Having him back will help us out a lot.”

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