Zach Line is out for the rest of the season.
Conference USA's leading scorer tore a tendon in his foot against Navy last weekend and will need surgery. True freshman Jared Williams will take his place in the starting lineup this weekend against Houston.
Line, a junior, missed practice all week, but that wasn't anything out of the ordinary as he's received treatment on other injuries in lieu of practice for much of the season (he's had a separated shoulder and a sore hamstring, among other things).
Line was essentially the heart and sole of SMU's offense this season. He leads C-USA in scoring (10.2 yards per game), rushing yards (1,224), yards per game (122.4) and touchdowns (17) and is ranked in the Top 5 nationally in those categories. He's also rushed for 100-plus yards in eight of SMU's 10 games this season.
Even though teams in C-USA have at least two games left, Line will probably finish the year first in all those major rushing categories, as it doesn't appear Tulane's Orleans Darkwa (775 total yards, 70.5 ypg, 11 touchdowns) will catch up.
Line carried the ball about 20 times a game and averaged 5.88 yards per carry. Though SMU is a pass-first offense, Line was the Mustangs leading scorer and was their go-to guy in the red zone.
He also broke a few school records this season, including Doak Walker's single-game touchdown record (5) against Northwestern State. He played through a separated shoulder that game without even mentioning it in the post-game press conference. Line was also on pace to break Eric Dickerson's single-season touchdown record (19).
Line is a semifinalist for this year's Doak Walker Award, which honors the nation's best running back.
SMU has Houston and Rice left on its regular season schedule, plus a bowl game.
Line will be back for his senior season next year.
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