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Miami RB Johnson Breaks Ankle, Out For Season

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Miami running back Duke Johnson broke his ankle on a gruesome-looking tackle late in the third quarter. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.
Miami running back Duke Johnson broke his ankle on a gruesome-looking tackle late in the third quarter. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images.

Miami suffered two losses Saturday: 41-14 to Florida State, and running back Duke Johnson to a broken ankle.

The team did not immediately provide a prognosis for Johnson, who left the stadium on crutches, his right ankle housed in what looked like a wrap-like cast. Not long after the game, Miami Herald beat writer Susan Miller Degnan confirmed what others already had tweeted: Johnson will have surgery next week to repair a broken bone.

Facing a fourth-and-2 from the Florida State 26-yard line, Johnson carried up the middle for one yard. His right leg tucked beneath his backside, ankle facing out, and appeared to get stuck as a wave of defenders then toppled his body, creating cringe-worthy leverage on his ankle.

Johnson had to be helped off the field by two trainers. After getting checked out on the sideline, apparently with tears in his eyes, Miami carted him to the locker room for X-rays, ABC reported during its broadcast.

At 5-foot-9, 196 pounds, Johnson has dealt with a possible concussion and migraines, but played in every game to this point. He'd rushed 23 times for 97 yards at the time of the injury, accounting for most all of Miami's offense through three quarters.

Johnson has averaged 6.3 yards per carry and is 80 yards shy of 1,000. He entered the game second in the ACC in rushing behind Andre Williams of Boston College.

The previously-unbeaten Hurricanes will turn to Dallas Crawford, also a sophomore and nearly identical in size (Crawford is listed as one inch taller and the same weight). Crawford averages 4.4 yards per carry and rushed for 137 yards after replacing Johnson early against North Carolina.

Miami (7-1, 3-1) is the most likely team to emerge from the Coastal Division, though they must beat Duke on the road, a matchup that gets more compelling with Johnson out. A rematch with Florida State in the ACC championship game would take place Dec. 7.