NC State running back Matt Dayes will miss the rest of the 2015 season because of a foot injury he sustained against Clemson last weekend, the school announced on Thursday night. Dayes' injury will require surgery, and he'll have the procedure done on Friday.
Head coach Dave Doeren released this statement on the matter:
"I'm disappointed for Matt because he was having a really good year," said Doeren. "But in football you've got to have a 'next man up' mentality, and I'm confident that his teammates will be ready to take on bigger roles and be successful."
What he forgot to add there is that this sucks and is terrible and WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, football gods, why. Dayes, if healthy, was a near-lock to break 1,000 yards rushing, becoming the first Pack player to earn that distinction in more than a decade. Instead, his season is lost, and NC State is going to have to reshuffle the deck again.
Did I mention that this stinks?
This puts obvious added pressure on Jaylen Samuels, who'll need to serve more in a running back role moving forward. We should also see more from Dakwa Nichols and Reggie Gallaspy, who have been non-factors for the most part this season. But with State now down its two most talented running backs (including Shad Thornton, who was dismissed from the team earlier in the season), there are no other options. NC State is not going to burn Johnny Frasier's redshirt at this point.
Nichols and Gallaspy both have shown flashes of promise in spot duty, and now the team's gonna need a lot more out of them. Never forget, though, friends: we have Jaylen Samuels. We will get through this, and Matt Dayes will get his 1,000 yards next season.