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BYU Football Will Be Down Two Key Players Against ECU

Oct 25, 2022, 6:45 PM
BYU Football, Kody Epps, Injury Report...
BYU Football will be without wide receiver Kody Epps and running back Chris Brooks against ECU on Friday, October 28, 2022. (Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)
(Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The hits keep coming for BYU football. BYU will be without wide receiver Kody Epps and running back Chris Brooks when they host the East Carolina Pirates on Friday night.

“Neither one of them are going to play. They’re both out,” said BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick after Tuesday’s practice.

When asked if either injury would be long-term or week-to-week, Roderick replied, “Brooks, not long-term; Kody, not sure.”

Losing both players for Friday’s game against ECU is a big blow to a BYU team currently on a three-game losing streak. In addition, a potential loss to the Pirates from the AAC could jeopardize BYU’s hopes of going to a bowl game.

Kody Epps and Chris Brooks are stat leaders for BYU

Kody Epps is BYU’s leading receiver, and Chris Brooks is the leading rusher. Epps has 39 receptions for 459 yards, and six touchdown grabs this season.

Brooks is the top running back for BYU but hasn’t been utilized as the bell cow rusher that many envisioned he would be coming into the year.

Both players suffered injuries during last week’s 41-14 loss to Liberty in Lynchburg, Va.

Brooks left the game at the end of the first half with a hamstring injury. Epps’ injury was suffered late in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.

Roderick was asked if there was any remorse for keeping Epps and other starters in the game that late. BYU’s second-year offensive coordinator didn’t second guess the decision to keep Epps or other starters during that stretch.

“We were trying to play. We’ve got to be more competitive, so we were not interested in subbing there. We were playing so poorly that we needed to, you know, be competitive. So that was not a time to sub,” Roderick said on Tuesday.

What BYU does without Epps and Brooks

East Carolina is 5-3 overall on the season and is 85th in total defense. The Pirates are 119th in passing yards allowed but are an impressive 23rd nationally in run defense.

Without Epps, look for BYU to turn to star Puka Nacua, the featured playmaker for the Cougars this season. Along with Nacua, watch for Chase Roberts, Keanu Hill, and Brayden Cosper.

Without Brooks, BYU could turn to either Miles Davis or veteran Lopini Katoa as one of the featured runners at the running back spot. Keep an eye out for Nacua as well at running back, who has lined up there occasionally the past two games.

BYU vs. ECU

Date: Friday, October 28, 2022

Kickoff: 6 p.m. (MT)

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

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 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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