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BYU soccer: Cougars’ main receiver out for the rest of season

Fears that third-year freshman Kody Epps, BYU’s main receiver, can be out for the season after he suffered an obvious shoulder harm two weeks in the past at Liberty had been confirmed Monday by head coach Kalani Sitake.

Epps didn’t play in final Friday’s 27-24 loss to East Carolina.

“Unlucky,” mentioned Sitake throughout his weekly press briefing because the Cougars began preparations to face 6-2 Boise State on Saturday at Albertsons Stadium. “We had been hoping to get some (extra constructive) info again in assembly with the medical doctors, however that sucks, as a result of he has handled some accidents up to now.”

“It’s in the direction of the tip of the 12 months. We now have a bye after this recreation, so that is 10 weeks straight. We knew we had been going to have to check our depth, and I hate that now we have needed to check it as typically as now we have needed to this 12 months. However that is the sport. No person is feeling sorry for us. We gotta hold rolling.” —BYU soccer coach Kalani Sitake

Epps, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound receiver from Los Angeles who prepped at Mater Dei Excessive and was a highschool teammate of Alabama quarterback Bryce Younger, handled nagging foot and ankle accidents in 2020 and 2021 however had damaged out this 12 months with 39 catches for 463 yards and 6 touchdowns.

“He’s in excessive spirits,” Sitake mentioned. “I’ve spoken with him and he’s excited to maintain his position as a frontrunner on this staff, and to maintain working with us. So I’m enthusiastic about his vitality and his strategy to it. Not excited that we do not get his manufacturing on the sphere.”

One other offensive starter who missed Friday’s recreation as a result of harm, Cal switch working again Chris Brooks, has a hamstring subject and isn’t out for the season, Sitake mentioned.

“It’s type of a day-to-day, week-to-week factor with Chris,” Sitake mentioned. “Even at the moment, I do not know as a lot as I ought to. I’ll most likely know extra later. However it isn’t season-ending, from what we perceive.”

Brooks stays BYU’s main rusher with 463 yards on 76 carries, and is third on the staff in touchdowns with 5. In Brooks’ absence Friday, Lopini Katoa rushed for a season-high 116 yards on 20 carries, and Miles Davis picked up 46 yards on 11 carries.

Quarterback Jaren Corridor additionally appeared at Monday’s press briefing and mentioned the accidents are simply a part of faculty soccer and will not hold the Cougars from competing exhausting towards the Broncos, who’ve received 4 straight video games. BYU (4-5) has misplaced 4 straight.

“You all the time pray for his or her well being. You want to see them get again as quickly as they will, and also you need your whole weapons on the market on the identical time,” Corridor mentioned. “However the nature of soccer is that it’s a bodily recreation.

“Not a variety of groups within the nation undergo the entire season with all their guys on the sphere on the identical time,” Corridor continued. “That is the fact. You possibly can’t actually make excuses with that. You possibly can’t let that turn into a burden for anybody to attempt to carry extra weight.”

Puka Nacua (seven catches, 79 yards), Brayden Cosper (4 catches, 37 yards) and Keanu Hill (three catches, 11 yards) had been focused essentially the most towards ECU in Epps’ absence.

“I acquired a variety of confidence in all of our guys, and now we have seen all of it 12 months,” Corridor mentioned. “All people stepped up at sure factors and made performs, so now it’s a matter of, ‘How can we get all people that’s obtainable to have the most effective recreation of their season on the identical time?’ I believe that’s what now we have been missing and one thing that may assist us discover a spark once more and get rolling like we all know we are able to.”

On the defensive aspect, rover linebacker Payton Wilgar missed his second straight recreation with a decrease leg harm, and is questionable on Saturday. Flash linebacker Chaz Ah You sustained an harm early within the recreation and didn’t return. Free security Malik Moore and reserve defensive lineman Josh Larsen have been out for awhile with season-ending accidents and linebacker Max Tooley missed the ECU recreation with an undisclosed ailment.

Sitake didn’t give any defensive participant harm updates.

“It’s in the direction of the tip of the 12 months. We now have a bye after this recreation, so that is 10 weeks straight. We knew we had been going to have to check our depth, and I hate that now we have needed to check it as typically as now we have needed to this 12 months,” Sitake mentioned. “However that is the sport. No person is feeling sorry for us. We gotta hold rolling.

“We now have some younger guys that must step up and make performs and provides us some manufacturing. I do not know all the main points of all of the stuff…so far as accidents go. The gamers will most likely launch it or announce it if their accidents are season-ending.”


Cougars on the air

BYU (4-5)

at Boise State (6-2)

Saturday, 5 p.m.

Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho

TV: FS2

Radio: KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM/1160 AM

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