Leon Allen was putting together quite the game in Western Kentucky's "return to form" against the Bulldogs on Thursday. On just 12 carries, Allen was able to eat up 81 yards and a touchdown as he was looking to break 100 yards yet again, and get the early season back on track.
Until this happened when he was trying to receive a screen pass from Brandon Doughty before being brought down by Bulldog linebacker Nick Thompson. Sounds like a normal play, right? Well, essentially it was. Until this happened when Allen was heading to the ground (warning, this is when this post becomes graphic):
Yeah. Painful. Believe it or not, it's not as painful as watching the slo-motion replay that Fox Sports 1 aired.
Allen needed help from two people to get off the field and was carted off the sideline into the Hilltoppers' locker room before not being seen again.
Allen's injury is a huge blow to the Tops - Allen set the Conference USA single game rushing record last year against Army, finishing for 1,580 yards on 272 touches and scoring 13 touchdowns. That is a lot to replace , no doubt, but the Tops do have options.
Anthony "Ace" Wales is the first thought of option, but he too is battling injury, which leads to D'Andre Ferby as the next candidate, which even though he's technically third string, may not be a horrible thing. Against the Bulldogs last night, the freshmen from Nashville collected 39 yards on 14 carries and really impressed (well, me anyway) on a pair of seven yard runs against Vanderbilt last week.
Anthony Davis - who is a transfer from Indiana (WKU plays at the Hoosiers next week) - made his Hilltopper debut in the LA Tech win, eating 29 yards on just two carries. He and Ferby will be getting the workload until Wales can return to the field.
The depth may have gotten significantly shorter in the backfield, but with Ferby in and how impressive he's looked (if not through the statistical test, definitely the eye test), the Hilltoppers should be in capable hands. Plus, Ferby had to learn how to run in college sometime, why not now?
Of course, the ultimate and unfortunate story here is that Allen possibly could have played his last collegiate football game. We saw Doughty get granted a medical redshirt that made 2015 his 6th year, and Allen at least meets the criteria for the same treatment, whether the NCAA grants it to him or not.