WACO _ Baylor could have running back Jay Finley back in time for Saturday's Big 12 opener against Oklahoma.
Finley missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, and backups Jarred Salubi and Terrance Ganaway played well in his absence. But the Bears (3-1) really need the toughness Finley has in his arsenal when they go against OU (2-2).
"We hope he's 100 percent because Jay's a really strong, tough downhill runner,'' coach Art Briles said. "That's a phase that we're going to really welcome back into our offense.
"I don't know if he'll be completely healthy Saturday. I think he'll be from 85-95 percent, but we'll just have to kind of wait and see. He's a guy that really brings another dimension to the table for us offensively that's needed in a lot of situations.''
Before he was injured, Finley rushed for 212 yards on just 22 carries _ 9.6 yards per carry _ and scored a touchdown in the first two games of the season.
As far as Salubi goes, he's rushed for 195 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns while averaging 8.1 yards per carry. And Ganaway has rushed for 80 yards on 23 carries and scored three touchdowns.
"Salubi, as we know, has done very well the last couple of weeks filling in nicely,'' Briles said. "He's done a good job and brought in a little different flavor to our game, and then Terrance has done what we've asked him to do.
"So all those guys, they're just grinding and trying to help us win and that's what it's all about. You get an opportunity, you take advantage of it and you help the football team win.''
A 5-11, 205-pound junior from Corsicana, Finley needs just 216 yards to become the 15th player in Baylor history to compile at least 1,500 yards rushing.
_ Dwain Price