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Neil Pau’u sidelined for game vs. Georgia Southern, unlikely for game against USC

Star receiver was injured in victory over Idaho State and was not listed on two-deep chart released Monday

BYU wide receiver Neil Pau’u makes a catch during game against at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.
BYU wide receiver Neil Pau’u (2) makes a catch as he falls out of bounds during game against Utah at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

BYU coach Kalani Sitake told reporters Monday that star receiver Neil Pau’u, who was injured in the Cougars’ 59-14 win over Idaho State on Nov. 6, definitely won’t play Saturday at Georgia Southern and most likely won’t play against USC in 10 days, either.

“I think we are stretching it (by saying) he is going to be in the bowl game, so that’s as honest as I can be without knowing all the details,” Sitake said.

Pau’u was not listed on the two-deep chart released Monday. Nor was center James Empey, last seen wearing a protective boot on Senior Day.

Barring an invitation to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game, still very much a longshot, BYU will play in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Dec. 18. There is also an outside chance the Cougars could play in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona, (formerly known as the Cheez-It Bowl) if conferences tied to the bowl are unable to provide enough bowl-eligible teams.