After career-high 230 yards rushing against North Dakota State in quarterfinal win, All-America running back is not expected to play Friday
Eastern Washington University All-America running back Taiwan Jones has a fractured bone in his foot and is not expected to play this Friday (Dec. 17) when Eastern hosts Villanova in the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.
Jones, who ranks second this week in FCS in both rushing yards (145.2 per game) and all-purpose yards (201.8), suffered a fracture to the base of his fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot in EWU’s 38-31 overtime victory over North Dakota State Saturday (Dec. 11) in the quarterfinals. He finished with a career-high 230 yards rushing in that game, including 203 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
Eastern head athletic trainer Brian Norton said Jones will have a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon on Monday to determine if surgery is needed. Norton said there is a slight possibility that Jones could return for the national championship game on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas, if Eastern advances.
“I’m disappointed most for Taiwan,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “He’s worked so hard, and without Taiwan Jones we wouldn’t be in this position. We feel that way about a lot of players on our team, and Taiwan is a part of that. It’s always disappointing when one of your players is not able to go, especially one so instrumental in our success this season.”
“His performance was great once again,” Baldwin added of Jones’ performance against the Bison, which gave the junior from Antioch, Calif., 1,742 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns for the season. “You can practice all you want and prepare by watching film, but until you go against him live, you don't understand the angles you need to take. It's not just the big runs. It's the running through tackles and how hard he runs. We knew it would be a physical game.”
Baldwin said one of Jones’ backups -- true freshman Mario Brown or junior Darriell Beaumonte will start at running back this week. Brown has 214 yards and a touchdown this season and Beaumonte has 216 yards and a pair of scores. Jones is averaging 7.9 yards per carry this season and 7.7 in this career, while Brown and Beaumonte are averaging 3.5 and 2.7 this year, respectively.
“Our other players have to step up,” Baldwin said. “This will be a challenge that our players need to attack and go after. But it’s going to be disappointing to not see that young man play this Friday.”
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In Final Appearance in December, Baldwin to Show Video Prior to Coaches Show . . .
Eastern Washington University football fans are invited to view weekly video and hear commentary from Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin this Monday (Dec. 13) at 5:30 p.m. at the “Q” Sports Bar and Restaurant at Northern Quest Resort and Casino near the Spokane airport. The sessions include giveaways, other special guests and video from the previous game with commentary provided by Baldwin prior to his live appearance on the Eagle Coaches Show at 6 p.m. Both events will take place in the former broadcast room adjacent to the Q Sports Bar and Restaurant. Fans will be able to order food and beverages and listen to the show from that location, as well as watch Monday Night Football and other sporting events. The show is aired on 700-AM ESPN “The Ticket” and via the internet at www.espnnorthwest.com. The show, featuring Baldwin or head men’s basketball coach Kirk Earlywine, will resume in January after a break for the holidays. For more information on the show and directions to Northern Quest, go to: http://goeags.com/genrel/releases/10atOct15
Note to Media . . .
Eastern Washington University will have a telephonic conference call with head coach Beau Baldwin and All-America linebacker J.C. Sherritt starting at 11 a.m. Pacific time (2 p.m. Eastern) on Monday, December 13. To obtain the toll-free number and meeting number, please e-mail SID Dave Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org). Newspaper and radio reporters should utilize the call to ensure being able to interview these two persons. Transcripts and audio files will not be available. Additional interviews with players may be arranged with Dave Cook, most likely before or after practice on Monday and Tuesday.
Subject to change, practices open to the media take place at Roos Field on Monday (3:30 p.m.), Tuesday (4 p.m.) and Wednesday (4 p.m.). Media interviews with players and coaches should take place 25 minutes prior to the scheduled practice time.
In addition, the Colonial Athletic Association will also have its conference call Monday, beginning at 7 a.m. Pacific time. Contact Dave Cook for more information.