Houston's star running back day-to-day with ankle sprain

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Houston Cougars running back Kenneth Farrow (35) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Memphis Tigers at TDECU Stadium. The Cougars won 35-34.

To show how dangerous Houston's football team is on offense, last week the Cougars were without one of the top running backs in school history and still put 52 points on the board.

Now the question is whether that running back, Kenneth Farrow, will be able to play against Temple on Saturday when Houston hosts the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters Monday, Houston coach Tom Herman said that Farrow is listed as day-to-day with a high ankle sprain.

"He continues to improve, but a high ankle sprain takes a while to heal," Herman said. "We are hopeful to have him this week, but it is certainly not a positive one way or another right now on Monday."

Last week, Herman moved Brandon Wilson from cornerback to running back and didn't miss a beat. Wilson rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns Friday in a 52-31 win over visiting Navy that clinched the West Division title.

After the conference call, Herman expanded on his running back situation during his meeting with local reporters. He said any decision on the running back rotation obviously will hinge on Farrow's improvement.

"Preliminarily we will probably have Brandon [Wilson] practice on defense a lot of the third-down stuff, and the first- and second-down stuff will be more offensive-minded," hen said.

Herman also suggested that Wilson is likely to play on both sides of the ball.

As well as Wilson did, not having Farrow would be a major setback. Farrow was hurt on the last play of the third quarter during the Cougars' 20-17 loss at Connecticut on Nov. 21.

This season, Farrow has rushed for 949 yards (5.2 average) and 12 touchdowns. For his career, the 5-foot-10, 220-pound senior has rushed for 2,966 yards and 34 touchdowns.

During a 31-10 home win over Temple last year, Farrow rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Two years ago in Houston's 22-13 victory over Temple at Lincoln Financial Field, Farrow rushed for 78 yards on nine carries.

While Wilson would be a suitable replacement, it would hurt Houston not having him full time at on defense, where he has started 11 games and has 55 tackles, seven pass breakups and an interception that he returned 51 yards for a score. He also has two TDs on kickoff returns.