Darius Taylor, the Gophers true freshman running back who ranks second in the nation in rushing yards per game, will miss Saturday's game against Louisiana because of a leg injury suffered last week against Northwestern.
Taylor was listed as out on the Big Ten availability report that was released Saturday morning. The Detroit native entered Saturday with an average of 133 rushing yards per game, which trails only Appalachian State's Nate Noel (135.5) among FBS rushers. With a total of 532 rushing yards, Taylor ranks third nationally.
In last week's 37-35 overtime loss at Northwestern, Taylor rushed 31 times for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He was injured late in the fourth quarter on a key third-and-2 play from the Wildcats 36-yard line when he was tackled for a 1-yard loss by linebacker Xander Mueller. Taylor grabbed the back of his left leg near the knee after being tackled. He did not play in overtime.
With Taylor out, senior Bryce Williams could be in line to be the Gophers' lead running back. Williams carried five times for 16 yards against Northwestern in his return after missing two games because of an injury. Senior Sean Tyler, the Gophers' second-leading rusher with 136 yards on 30 carries, did not play against Northwestern.
"It's just by committee right now,'' Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said Monday. "We've got a lot of backs. You're gonna probably see other guys. You'll probably see Zack Evans, too.''
Also listed as out among prominent Gophers was wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell, who's played sparingly this season as he works his way back from a knee injury that ended his 2022 season last September. Reserves Jackson Ruschmeyer, Hayden Schwartz, Jack Tinnen and Jackson Powers also were listed as out.
Linebacker Cody Lindenberg, a starter who has yet to play this season because of a leg injury, was listed as questionable but was not taking part in early warmups. Reserve defensive lineman Lucas Finnessy also was questionable.