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Utah Loses Standout DT Viane Moala For The Season

Viane Moala #98 of the Utah Utes looks on in the first quarter against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham announced on Monday that defensive tackle Viane Moala is out for the season.

Viane Moala suffered a season-ending injury in the second half in Utah’s loss to San Diego State on Saturday. The Hawai’i transfer had to be carted off the field and wasn’t able to get up and get on the cart. He had his teammates lift him onto the cart.

After the game, Whittingham said Moala was in the hospital and in a lot of pain. Whittingham made the announcement at his weekly press conference on Monday morning.

“Lost Viane Moala for the season, that’s going to be a season ending injury which is a blow to our defensive front,” Whittingham said. “He was the leader of that defensive tackle group but he’s not going to be able to play anymore this year.”

Now that Moala is out for the year, Whittingham talked about some players that they expect to fill the void.

“Fortunately, we’ve got a pretty deep group of defensive tackles,” Whittingham mentioned. “We knew going into the season we had we had good depth there. So between Devin Kaufusi, and Junior Tafuna, he played really well on Saturday. Then you have the Pututau’s, Howard (Hauati), Tennessee and Fua and then you have David Fotu, and Leki’s younger brother, who we’re toying with the idea of red shirting him, but we’ll see if he gets pressed in to action now. But we have plenty of bodies. It’s just that you lose your your number one tackle even no matter what your depth is never a good thing. But you got to respond, next man up and away you go.”

Utah will open Pac-12 play on Saturday, September 25 against Washington State at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Kickoff is at 12:30 p.m. MDT on the Pac-12 Network.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.