Utah State’s loss to Weber State continues to plague the Aggies more than a week later.
The setback was a historic one for Utah State football, during which it has now been revealed that the Aggies also lost two starters to season-ending injuries.
Wide receiver Kyle Van Leeuwen announced on social media on Sept. 13 that he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
On Monday, Utah State head coach Blake Anderson confirmed Van Leeuwen’s injury and also announced that defensive tackle Phillip Paea is out for the remainder of the season, after he suffered a torn ACL against the Wildcats.
“Unfortunately we will be without Phil Paea the rest of the season,” Anderson said. “He also will be having ACL surgery in the coming weeks.”
Paea was hurt during the return of his interception of Weber State quarterback Bronson Barron in the second quarter.
“On the turnover we created, he took a helmet on the outside of his knee that did some damage that needs to be repaired,” Anderson said. “He and Kyle Van Leeuwen are both done for the year.”
The Aggies did get some good news on the injury front, though. Senior defensive tackle Hale Motu’apuaka did not play against Weber State but is expected to suit up against UNLV.
“He is probable,” Anderson said. “(Motu’apuaka) practiced last night in a limited fashion and did really well. We missed him desperately (against Weber State).”
The Aggies were shorthanded up front against the Wildcats without Motu’apuaka, and then shortly into the game they lost Poukesi Vakauta and Paea.
“We played a huge portion of last week’s game without three of our interior starters,” Anderson said. “Played some young guys, a lot of freshmen. We are playing 14 or 15 freshmen right now.”
That number won’t be going down any time soon after the loss of Paea.