No. 12 at the wide receiver position for BYU on Saturday at No. 25 could improve against Oregon, as one of the program’s injured star receivers will try to return.
Puga Nagua, the program’s speedy and explosive deep threat, has traveled with the team to Oregon and will be out for game time with a sprained right ankle, sources told ESPN on Saturday.
BYU’s other injured star receiver, Gunner Romney, will miss his third straight game with an undisclosed injury.
Whether or not Nacua will play will depend on how his ankle feels during pregame warmups at Atson Stadium. He injured his ankle in BYU’s opener against South Florida and missed the Cougars’ win over Baylor last week.
No rain in Eugene on Saturday, which should help Nagua’s feet.
Nacua is considered one of the program’s toughest players, but BYU is trying to balance the need to play right away against the risk of aggravating the injury and losing him long-term. After hosting Wyoming and Utah State the next two weeks, games with Notre Dame and Arkansas fill BYU’s schedule next month.
His explosiveness was evident in the opener against South Florida, when he exploded for a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game in BYU’s 50-21 victory. Nacua had 98 yards rushing and two touchdowns before injuring his ankle.
Romney has been a key figure in the BYU offense in 25 career games over the past four seasons. Romney, who has 1,900 receiving yards and 10 total career touchdowns, did not travel with the team to Eugene.
Jaren Hall found new targets last week without those two receivers who accounted for 60% of BYU’s receiving yards in 2021. Redshirt freshman Chase Roberts finished with a career-high 122 receiving yards in a double-overtime win over Baylor.