On Saturday afternoon former ASU stud running back Ryan Torain was cut from the Washington Redskins. Saturday night, an ASU running back wearing No. 26 ran for three touchdowns and 104 yards on four carries.
Officially, Cameron Marshall was the starting running back. But in reality, it wasn't such a clear thing.
The last time there was a running back dominating the way "Cameron Marshall" was Saturday night was when another No. 26 was lining up seven yards deep. Yep, Ryan Torain.
Who's to say that Torain, after hearing of his release, didn't jump on a plane back to Tempe. Washington, DC is three hours ahead. It would have been plenty of time to get here, talk to the coach, suit up and get his four carries.
Why would he do it? Why not? He has had nothing but bad breaks since 2006. His 2007 season ended halfway through the season. He was mentioned as an outside possibility to contend for the Heisman. As a pro, he got injured again in 2008, ending his season. Then, in 2009, it happened again. Coming back to Sun Devil Stadium would be a way to exorcise those injury demons and bring back some of the magic he had in 2006.
If you go back to last season, Cameron Marshall had a few decent runs, but he never looked like the guy that was running past and away from Viking defenders. Plus, did you see his high-stepping into the endzone? That's normal for the pros, but a no-no in college. Torain would do that.
How can we tell for sure this wasn't what happened? Well, on Sunday, Torain was signed by the Redskins to their practice squad, which means that he won't be back. If "Cameron Marshall" looks more like Cameron Marshall next week and the weeks that follow, then we'll know the fix was in. If he still looks like "Cameron Marshall," well then that is still good news for the Sun Devil faithful.
Either way, we win. Either we got to see that No. 26 in maroon and gold one more time, or we get to see this No. 26 the rest of the season.
Disclaimer: If you are an NCAA official, none if this should be construed as anything concrete of any misdeed by Arizona State Athletics. I didn't do it, you didn't see me do it, you can't prove anything!