Despite being listed as the starter on the week one depth chart, it does not look like Travis Tuiloma will be available in the near future. Defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi announced today that they do not expect Tuiloma to be back for at least a month.
Travis is suffering from the same injury that ended Taysom’s season last year, a lis franc injury. When on the field, he has proved to be an effective run stopper and it will now be up to Tomasi Laulile to fill the nose tackle spot.
BYU DL coach Steve Kaufusi said NT Travis Tuiloma is about a month away from playing.— Jeff Call (@AJeffreyCall) August 30, 2016
There’s no way to sugarcoat this, losing Tuiloma for a month is a big deal. On a ranking of players BYU can’t afford to lose, it’s hard to find five guys ahead of Travis on that list.
Last year the defense missed him dearly. He missed the UCLA and Michigan game and the rushing yards from those two games leave all that needs to be said about his impact stopping the run.
If the timetable is correct, Tuiloma will miss the game against Arizona, at Utah, home versus UCLA, at West Virginia, and home versus Toledo. Toledo is a month away from today, but a month away from playing is likely different from actually being in a game.
BYU will already be underdogs in the first four games of the year and the games that this news impacts the most are Arizona and Utah. Arizona has yet to name a starting QB, so we should expect to see a lot of running the ball Saturday. Utah is breaking in a brand new quarterback and their bread and butter for a long time has been hard-nosed run the ball down your throat football.
Two position group’s depth have been a concern for BYU this offseason, offensive and defensive line. With this loss of Travis Tuiloma, will the defensive line be able to perform well?
Looks like we will find out.