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Arizona State vs. Colorado: RB Tony Jones might be more involved in passing game

Sophomore running back Tony Jones has only carried the ball 30 times this season, but could see plenty of looks in the passing game on Thursday against the Sun Devils.

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Unable to retain the starting role he earned heading into the season, Colorado Buffaloes tailback Tony Jones could be in store for a larger share of touches on Thursday in his team's key Pac-12 game against Arizona State.

Jones, who was bumped from Colorado's No. 1 tailback spot by talented freshman Christian Powell in Week 2, may be called upon to start on Thursday as Powell continues to nurse a hip injury. Though Powell appears to be in the good graces of head coach Jon Embree at the moment and would likely receive first-team reps the instant he suits up, the 5'7, 190-pound Jones appears on the verge of playing his way back into the rotation.

Hopeful that his 84-yard touchdown run against Washington State will continue to remind coaches of his playmaking ability, Jones told Brian Howell of that he remains fully confident his talent will continue to shine through over the course of the season.

"I'm working my way back up," Jones said. " ... Whatever they want me to do, I'm going to get out there and just try to make it happen. I'm just trying to win some games, man."

Asked about what type of role Jones might have if Powell indeed plays, Embree was not willing to rule out splitting his tailback out at receiver in certain situations to keep both players on the field. "He runs good routes, he has good natural hands," Embree said. "He doesn't flinch when the ball comes at him."

The short week should make it hard for Powell to be close to 100 percent by kickoff on Thursday, so all signs point to Jones being granted an ideal chance to show his stuff this week. With the Sun Devils out to an impressive 4-1 start, however, the Buffaloes may need every bit of both Powell and Jones in order to keep things close.