While we still wait to see if Wisconsin's star running back Corey Clement will return to the field this week, Illinois announced Thursday that its star running back, Josh Ferguson, will remain out of the lineup when the two teams meet Saturday afternoon in Champaign.
Ferguson, who was knocked out early in the Illini's win over Nebraska a few weeks back, missed the team's last game against Iowa, and sitting out Saturday will make it two straight. Ferguson has a shoulder sprain, interim head coach Bill Cubit told reporters Monday.
Ferguson has 381 rushing yards and four total touchdowns in this, his senior season.
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Without Ferguson, Illinois rushed for just 46 yards in a 29-20 loss to Iowa two weeks ago. Ke'Shawn Vaughn has 19 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown in that game, and quarterback Wes Lunt was sacked three times for a loss of 20 yards. Vaughn also had a costly fumble late in the game.
But Ferguson's absence won't be the only thing hampering the Illinois offense Saturday. Also included on the Illini's injury report Thursday was Marchie Murdock, who will also sit out of Saturday's game.
Murdock, who also missed the Iowa game, is the team's second-leading receiver with 194 yards, and he's tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches.