James Franklin ‘Confident’ Saquon Barkley Will Play In Big Ten Title Game
James Franklin is never one to divulge much about injuries. However, when it comes to the status of his superstar running back, he was uncharacteristically open about his thoughts on Saquon Barkley’s injury.
Barkley was hurt late in the third quarter against Michigan State after appearing to have his ankle rolled up on. He required assistance to get off the field, and had the injured area casted briefly. His status for Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game was left up in the air, but James Franklin opened up about Barkley’s health on the Big Ten Championship Game coaches call, saying that he’s “confident” Barkley would be able to go and that he’s expecting his star back to play.
Barkley’s availability completely alters Saturday’s picture given Wisconsin’s stoutness against the run. The Badgers only allow 3.3 yards per attempt, and have only given up roughly 100 yards per contest. They’ve prevented opposing backs — including LSU star Leonard Fournette — from breaking off home runs, as its longest gain allowed is a mere 38 yards. Barkley averages 5.3 yards a game and has a long of 81 — not that statistics are the purely the difference maker here, but Barkley’s penchant for the big run once he hits the second level is pretty hard to forget about.
Barkley might not be 100 percent, but it sounds like he’ll be able to go against Wisconsin on Saturday.