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Keenan Pili - BYU Football
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BYU Football Captain Keenan Pili Out For Season With Injury

PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 18 : Curtis Hodges #86 of the Arizona State Sun Devils is taken down by Keenan Pili #41 of the BYU Cougars during their game September 18, 2021 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Logan, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football captain Keenan Pili is out for the remainder of the 2021 season with an ACL injury.

Head coach Kalani Sitake opened his weekly press conference for this week’s USF game addressing the injury situation.

“Everybody should be back [this week], except for one. And that’s Keenan Pili, who we lost for the season. He tore his ACL, so he’ll be out. He’ll still be rehabbing and getting ready for surgery in a couple of weeks,” said Sitake.

Pili suffered the injury during BYU’s 27-17 win over Arizona State. Before the game concluded, Pili was seen on the sidelines on crutches. He was a key piece in the middle of BYU’s defense at the MIKE linebacker spot.

Through three games this season, Pili racked up 31 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one quarterback hurry, and one sack this season.

“We’re still gonna need him as a leader. He’s a captain, so we’re gonna need him leading our team still. He has a purpose and a role for us, it just has changed,” Sitake said on Monday. “We’re gonna rely on some of the depth at linebacker to step up. I have a lot of confidence in Kevin Clune as their coach, the young men in that room, and Keenan does as well. So I had a great conversation with him and looking forward to his role changing, but also having an impact and influence in our program.”

Pili is the second linebacker to suffer a season-ending injury this season. Prior to the start of fall camp, Tavita (Kavika) Gagnier went down with an injury that ruled him for the year.

Stepping in for Pili at the MIKE linebacker spot is Ben Bywater. Bywater started in BYU’s win over Arizona to open the season in replace of an injured Max Tooley. Bywater has 18 tackles on the season thus far through three weeks.

Pili is listed on BYU’s roster as a sophomore. It’s his fourth year with the program. He used his redshirt season in 2016 as a true freshman. Pili still has two years of eligibility remaining in his BYU career.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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