PROVO -- BYU All-American running back and Doak Walker Award finalist Luke Staley will miss the Cougars' (12-0) regular-season finale at Hawai'i after sustaining a broken leg in the final drive of BYU's 41-38 come-from-behind victory at Mississippi State on Saturday.
On Sunday, team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kirt Kimball, confirmed the fracture, indicating Staley had suffered a broken left fibula.
According to BYU head trainer, George Curtis, the break is a ragged-edge fracture which , all things considering, is the best scenario for achieving a full recovery. Curtis indicated it was too early to determine if Staley would be ready in time for the Cougars' scheduled appearance at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., on Dec. 31.
"The nature of Luke's fracture gives us some options," Curtis said. "Luke will be in a walking cast for a week or so, then we hope to begin various treatments that are intended to achieve a full and complete recovery. This type of fracture, depending on the way he responds to treatment, will keep him out between three and six weeks. It is too early to tell if he will be ready to play in a bowl game. We'll know more in a couple weeks."
Staley, who has recorded a BYU single-season record 1,582 yards on the season, averaging an amazing 8.1 yards per carry, is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, which honors the nation's top running back. The winner of this year's award will be announced on Thursday.
With Saturday's game at Mississippi State tied at 38-38, Staley led BYU into scoring position on five carries, accounting for 33 of the Cougars' 63 yards in the game-winning drive. On first-and-10 from the Bulldogs' 13 yardline, MSU's Richard Ball caught up to Staley after a six yard run. Ball landed on Staley's leg, causing the unintended injury. The Cougars carried the ball one more time before freshman Matt Payne connected on a game-winning 25-yard field goal as time expired.
Staley finished the night with a game-high 149 yards on 28 carries. He also added 24 yards on four receptions from senior quarterback Brandon Doman, who finished the night with 390 yards passing on 23-of-33 (.700) attempts. Doman was credited with a Mountain West Conference single-game record five touchdown receptions on the night.
"I don't think there's any question that we will miss having Luke on Saturday (at Hawai'i)," BYU head coach Gary Crowton said. "He is a vital part of this team. However, we have players on this team who can, and will step up. We'll make some adjustments and then go from there."