Oregon’s Royce Freeman To Skip Las Vegas Bowl
The Ducks back is a projected 1st- or 2nd-round NFL pick
Boise State’s chances just got better
When Boise State takes on Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl this Saturday afternoon the running back on the Ducks side of the ball will not be senior running back Royce Freeman.
Freeman has been going back and forth about playing in the bowl game and did practice this week in Las Vegas, but he has decided to not suit up for one more game.
“We have a very tight-knit group and we discussed it as a family,” new head coach Mario Cristobal said via The Oregonian. “We’re always making sure we communicate, so that decision is respected. It’s something we spoke about early and a big part of that discussion was being able to respect the decision, always mutual respect.”
Freeman owns almost every Oregon running back records and this year he rushed for 1,475 yards which was good enough for ninth in the country and he also had 16 touchdowns.
Freeman is expected to be an early round NFL Draft pick and that has a lot to do with him sitting out this game.
“This is kind of a unique case with Royce, but you just want to see guys play. But am I disappointed in him? No. I’m not,” Cristobal said. “Do I want to see him play? Absolutely.”
Replacing Freeman will be a combination of backs with Senior Kani Benoit likely getting the start. He rushed for 573 yards on 80 carries this season and had an impressive 7.2 yards per carry. He also found the end zone 10 times. Expect junior Tony Brooks-James and freshman Darrian Felix to earn carries as well.
This gives Boise State a better chance to win this game as Freeman is a better back than Benoit. However, Benoit has had three games over 100 yards on the year and should not be taken lightly.
“(Freeman) is one of the best running backs in the nation — big, physical, fast,” Boise State sophomore safety DeAndre Pierce said via the Idaho Statesman. “But Oregon … they’ve been good consistently. They have three running backs that can all go.”
This is the second straight bowl game where Boise State’s bowl opponent will have its starting running back sit out. Last year, Baylor’s Shock Linwood decided to sit out the Cactus Bowl.