The Miami Hurricanes will be without star running back Duke Johnson for the remainder of the season, the school announced Sunday. The sophomore broke his right angle in Saturday's loss to Florida State, and will undergo surgery in the coming days to repair it.
"I'm disappointed for Randy because he was really starting to understand how to be a good running back," University of Miami coach Al Golden said Sunday (Randy is Johnson's given name). "He was really starting to convert talent to skill."
Johnson is the team's leading rusher, with 920 yards on 145 carries (an average of 6.3 yards per carry). He also has six touchdowns and leads the team with 997 yards from scrimmage.
He was hurt late in the third quarter, with Miami trying to fight back from a 35-14 deficit. On a fourth-and-2 in Seminole territory, Johnson was stopped short of the first down marker, and as his right leg bent awkwardly on the tackle, a number of players from both teams fell on him, causing the injury.
Golden said Johnson had a positive attitude Saturday night, reminding his teammates that they still have a lot to play for this season, including a chance to win the ACC Coastal Division and set up a rematch with Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. Johnson's family said Sunday the situation could have been much worse.
"Duke is in good spirits," his mother, Cassandra Prophet-Mitchell, wrote on Facebook.
Backup running back Duke Crawford will handle a bulk of the running duties in Johnson's absence, with Eduardo Clement stepping into Crawford's role. Miami has four games left in the regular season, all within the ACC Coastal, and has a one-game lead in the division standings.
"As a team, we have to move forward," Golden said. "And we're going to have to move forward quickly because of this team we're going to play."
He was referring to Virginia Tech, which will also look to bounce back from a loss on Saturday, to Boston College.