SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been a bad week for the Utah Utes. Days after losing starting quarterback Tyler Huntley to a broken collarbone comes a report that running back Zack Moss suffered a knee injury at practice and will be out for the remainder of the season. Moss was reportedly injured Wednesday and will have surgery Friday.
“So many emotions. So many tears,” Moss said via his Twitter feed. “I’m coming back stronger. God’s plan.”
Liz Abel, Utah’s senior associate athletics director for communications, would neither confirm nor deny reports that Moss was injured when contacted Thursday. However, multiple sources have confirmed the injury.
Sirius XM host Sean O’Connell broke the news via Twitter.
“BREAKING: My very reliable sources tell me that @Utah_Football RB Zack Moss will have surgery on injured knee within the week. Will miss remainder of season. When it rains it pours.”
The 24th-ranked Utes now enter Saturday’s home game against Oregon without their top two rushers. Moss leads the team with 1,092 yards, while Huntley is second with 304.
In last week’s setback to Arizona State, Moss became just the fourth player in team history to rush for 1,000 yards in two seasons — joining John White (2011, 2012), Devontae Booker (2014, 2015) and Eddie Johnson (1984, 1986). He was just 573 yards from surpassing Johnson (3,219 yards) as the program’s all-time leading rusher.
Earlier this week, Moss acknowledged the latter would have been meaningful.
“That’s the reason I chose this school — to come out here and leave the legacy, come through here and be one of the best running backs to ever walk through this university,” he said. “To get that record, or get close to that record, in just my two years of really starting would be very unbelievable. But I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Moss, who had 1,173 yards as a sophomore and 382 as a freshman, is expected to enter the next NFL draft and has likely played his final game for Utes.49 comments on this story
Junior Armand Shyne is the backup to Moss on the depth chart. Shyne has rushed for 166 yards on 37 carries with two touchdowns this season.
Redshirt freshman Jason Shelley is filling in for Huntley.
Utah is currently ranked fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (30 ppg) and sixth in total offense (419.6 ypg).
The injuries come at a time when the bowl-eligible Utes are still in contention for the Pac-12 South’s berth in the conference championship game. They close out league play next week at Colorado.