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Fresno State loses running back Dejonte O'Neal for the year

The Bulldogs running back group just got thinner with a season-ending injury to a key contributor.

Fresno State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Fresno State’s season just took another hit as sophomore running back Dejonte O’Neal has suffered a season-ending knee injury and will need surgery to repair the ligament, according to Scout.com’s Bark Board.

This is a pretty big blow as O’Neal has been a contributor not just in the running game but also serving as the kick returner for the previous two games. In the double-overtime loss he had a 59-yard return and in six total kick returns is averaging 32.50 yards each time.

The Tulsa game was his best game to date as he had 145 all-purpose yards with most coming the returns as he rushed for 21 yards and while he had no receptions he has been involved with the passing game with seven receptions on the year.

The injuries keep adding up at the running back position for the Bulldogs as they have now lost four total backs to injuries. The other three are Deonte Perry and Wesley Hill who also have suffered knee injuries, and there is the redshirt placed on Justin Rice as he broke a bone in his foot.

The Bulldogs do have five running backs on the roster who are not hurt but the one’s who have seen playing time are leading rusher Dontel James and the only other running back to have any carries is redshirt freshman Treyvon Green who has six carries for 37 yards.

O’Neal was Fresno State’s second-leading rusher with 57 yards on 16 carries. Look for Green to get a lot more carries and possibly for running backs Wesley Hill, Austin Harper or Saevion Johnson to see their first carries of the year shortly.