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Provo • BYU will have to finish the season without another of its top offensive weapons.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall said on Monday that junior running back Jamaal Williams suffered a 'significant and severe" right knee injury in Saturday's 27-7 win over Middle Tennessee State and will miss the rest of the season.
Williams, who took a blow to his lower body after catching a 28-yard pass against the Blue Raiders in the second half at Floyd Stadium, will have surgery on Tuesday. He will join quarterback Taysom Hill on the sidelines for the rest of the year, after Hill suffered a season-ending leg fracture in the fifth game of the season, against Utah State.
"I am not sure even if he thought it was bad, right away," Mendenhall said of Williams' injury. "He kind of felt like it hyperextended. Again, his first question was, 'did I catch the ball?. … He took a direct hit right to the knee. I don't think any of us thought it was this severe."
Williams also rushed 16 times for 49 yards on Saturday, and finishes an injury plagued junior season with 518 yards on 109 carries. He also caught seven passes for 51 yards.
The Cougars (5-4) have a bye this week, and won't play again until Nov. 15 at home against UNLV (2-7). The school announced Monday that the UNLV game will start at 5 p.m. MT and be televised by ESPNU.
Mendenhall said Monday that BYU's other injured running back, Algie Brown (ankle) is questionable for that game. Linebacker Alani Fua, who also has an ankle injury, has a 75 percent chance of playing, Mendenhall said.
The Cougars' primary running backs will now be junior Adam Hine, who is coming off a foot injury, former rugby star Paul Lasike and walk-on Nate Carter.