The Penn State running back room has taken another major hit just one game into the 2020 season. Coach James Franklin announced Tuesday that sophomore Noah Cain will miss the remainder of the season with a lower leg injury suffered last weekend in the upset loss to Indiana.
"Love Noah, so much respect for Noah," Franklin said during his weekly press conference. "He really had an unbelievable offseason and worked really hard for this opportunity."
Cain had three carries for 13 yards in the first quarter last weekend against the Hoosiers before suffering the injury. The specific injury wasn't disclosed by Penn State, but he was seen on the sideline wearing a walking boot later in the game. The 5-foot-10, 226-pounder from Baton Rouge got the start after presumed starter Journey Brown was sidelined indefinitely for an undisclosed medical issue. Sophomore Devyn Ford stepped in for Cain last weekend and rushed 69 yards on 20 carries.
The medical issues that Cain and Brown are dealing with, coupled with the transfer of former hot-shot recruit Ricky Slade, means that three of Penn State's top four running backs from last year's team are unavailable for an extended period of time. Ford, starting quarterback Sean Clifford and backup quarterback Will Levis are the only players from last year's team to record double-digit carries.
It couldn't come at a worse time for the Nittany Lions. The loss to Indiana leaves them fighting an uphill battle and a small margin for error for the rest of the season -- a season that will continue on Saturday night at home vs. No. 3 Ohio State.