Originally published September 20, 2009 at 06:29p.m., updated September 21, 2009 at 12:00a.m.
Sharp’s status unknown for Southern Miss
Injured Kansas University running back Jake Sharp underwent a light practice Sunday, but is expected to be a game-time decision heading into Saturday's final nonconference game against Southern Mississippi, coach Mark Mangino said Sunday evening.
“We don’t know whether he’ll be ready or not,” Mangino said. “Knowing Jake, as tough as he is, he probably will want to do it, but we won’t put it out there if it means putting him in harm’s way. We need him for the long haul.”
Sharp, a senior, missed most of Saturday's 44-16 victory over Duke due to the undisclosed injury, which was suffered earlier in the week during a noncontact drill in practice. In limited action, the Salina native carried the ball five times for 13 yards and looked far less explosive than he did in the team’s first two games, in which he averaged 113.5 rushing yards per game and the Jayhawks emerged as the Big 12’s top rushing attack.
In his absence, true freshman running back Toben Opurum garnered the majority of the carries against the Blue Devils.
He finished with 120 total yards (70 rushing, 50 receiving) and two touchdowns, averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
“(Jake’s) smart enough to know that if he can’t function and perform at the level he needs to, he won’t be foolish about it,” Mangino said. “He’ll take counsel from our medical staff and from us as coaches, because when he plays, he wants to be the best.”
Onyegbule builds on quick start
Following a career day two weeks ago in a victory over UTEP, KU defensive end Maxwell Onyegbule earned Big 12 co-defensive player of the week honors.
Against Duke this week, he did his best to make it two in a row.
Onyegbule, from Arlington, Texas, finished with three tackles, including his third sack of the season, and provided the game’s top play when he returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to give the Jayhawks a 27-7 lead.
“For a big guy, he runs pretty well,” Mangino joked following the game. “I didn’t realize he had such good hands. Might tempt me to play him at tight end some day.”
Harris practices at full speed
A day after leaving Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, junior defensive back Chris Harris was back working at full speed during Sunday’s practice.
“He got banged around a little bit, had a little pull here or there, but he’s fine,” Mangino said. “... He plays really hard, (and) guys that play hard like that every once in a while get nicked up. But he’s fine.”