Boise State senior defensive tackle Tyler Horn will miss the rest of the season with the knee injury he sustained in the season opener against Ole Miss, the school announced Friday.
Horn will redshirt and return in 2015 because he never used a redshirt season. He’s one of three defensive tackles sidelined this year who will return as seniors next year — joining Deuce Mataele (NCAA suspension) and Justin Taimatuia (leg injury).
In fact, if you count recruit Jabril Frazier who is in school but ineligible until spring, the Broncos have 20 defensive linemen in their program and only one is scheduled to leave after this season (end Beau Martin).
Horn, of Mountain View High, tied for 11th on the team with 44 tackles last season. He recorded four tackles and a sack last week against Ole Miss. The rest of the team’s defensive tackles combined for one tackle.
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Senior tight end Connor Peters will miss Saturday’s game against Colorado State because of the academic issue that prevented him from traveling to the Ole Miss game, the school also announced.
Here’s what I wrote about Horn the other day:
Tyler Horn wasn't one of the big names or the stat leaders on the Boise State football team's defense coming into the season. His value was more subtle.
His injury in last week's season opener against Ole Miss made him the most talked about player on the defense this week. Horn left in the second half and wore a large knee brace on the sideline.
"He had that leadership role," defensive line coach Steve Caldwell said. "Sam (McCaskill) did some good things in there, but they have a lot of confidence in Tyler. He's been around here for a while. (Defensive end Beau Martin) will take over that. Then those other guys just have to step up if (Horn) can't play."
The Broncos went into fall camp with six experienced defensive linemen and hoping to field a rotation of about 10, the number who played against Ole Miss. Already, they have lost senior tackle Justin Taimatuia for the season. If Horn, also a senior, is out, the Broncos are down to four of those experienced players.
Horn made four tackles, including a sack against Ole Miss. The rest of the team's defensive tackles combined for one tackle.
McCaskill, a sophomore, is Horn's backup and likely replacement. Like Horn, he came to Boise State as an end. He made the transition to tackle during fall camp.
"Tyler's a really good player," senior nickel Corey Bell said. "... If Tyler is out for a while, which we're not even sure, Sam is the right guy to step up. He's been somebody who has been growing underneath guys like Tyler and some of the older guys for a couple years. I think he's ready to get out there and kind of mature and play at a more serious level and more serious snaps."
Caldwell would not commit to a starter in place of Horn. He said junior Antoine Turner, the backup nose tackle, also could play that spot. Sophomore Elliot Hoyte, who played a handful of snaps against Ole Miss, and redshirt freshman Nick Terry, who didn't play, are behind McCaskill at tackle.
McCaskill is an undersized tackle at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, but he held up against Ole Miss, Caldwell said.
"He got better and better as the game went on," Caldwell said. "It was a learning experience for him. When you get in there against the largest offensive line in the SEC, and for him to be able to hold his own in there, I was proud of him."
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