The No. 18 ASU Sun Devils will play the No. 9 Oregon Ducks this weekend in a top 25 match-up. The Ducks will likely be without star running back LaMichael James, who suffered an injury to the right elbow against the Cal Golden Bears last week. According to safety Eddie Elder, the Sun Devils would keep James in check this weekend if he were to play.
Courtesy of Craig Morgan of CBS Sports, Elder said the following about James when asked whether or not James would make an impact in Saturday's game: "No, because he didn't do nothing against us last year, so he wouldn't do anything against us this year."
The stats support Elder to some extent. When the two teams met in Tempe last season, James posted 98 rushing yards on 28 carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run in the game's opening quarter. The Ducks went on the beat the Sun Devils 42-31.
That stat line (98-1 on 28 rushes) may be relatively tame by James' standards, but ASU certainly doesn't want to mess with James this time around given his recent hot play. James has posted over 200 rushing yards in each of his last three games (204 against Missouri State, 288 against Arizona and 239 against Cal) and has the potential to give ASU's defense trouble.
Elder's comments exude an admirable sense of confidence in his team, but his statement about James is optimistic. The Sun Devils will catch a lucky break if James does not play on Saturday. If, by some chance, James does get on the field, Elder will get a chance to live up to his bold claim.