BYU loses running back Sione Finau for rest of season with ACL injury

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars running back Sione Finau (35) runs the ball for the Cougars, in football action between Brigham Young Cougars and Utah State Aggies in Logan, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

Less than a week after his breakout performance, redshirt freshman Sione Finau is out for the remainder of the season. The 5-foot-11 running back suffered an injury during Tuesday’s practice that was later diagnosed as an ACL tear, a BYU official confirmed Friday.

The Cougars have two more games in the regular season, which continues Saturday at UMass, and will play in the Hawaii Bowl Dec. 24.

Against Idaho State, Finau rushed for 102 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. He is the first BYU running back this season to rush for more than 100 yards in a game.

Finau has averaged 6.38 yards per carry in eight games.

It’s another blow to the group that lost starting running back Ty’son Williams, also due to an ACL injury, September 21 against Washington. Senior Emmanuel Esukpa and sophomore Lopini Katoa have picked up the load after Williams’ injury, but Esukpa has been dealing with undisclosed injuries over the last month, missing the Boise State and Liberty games. And while he suited up and got on the field against the Bengals last week, he wasn’t part of any plays.

While Katoa has averaged 4.4 yards per carry this season, he didn't play against ISU. Before the game, coach Kalani Sitake said Katoa was a little banged up.

If Katoa is healthy, he’ll most likely get the start against the Minutemen on Saturday.