Penn State Running Back Noah Cain Will Miss the Remainder of the 2020 Season

By Dan Smith on October 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm
Oct 5, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Noah Cain (21) carries the ball against the Purdue Boilermakers during the third quarter at Beaver Stadium.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State head coach James Franklin announced Tuesday that sophomore running back Noah Cain will miss the remainder of the 2020 football season.

Cain sustained an injury to his leg on the fifth offensive play of the season during Saturday's opening loss to Indiana. It appeared to come from attempting to throw a block during a running play by quarterback Sean Clifford.

During the offseason, the running back room was considered one of the deepest for Penn State, so much so that Ricky Slade transferred due to limited playing time in 2019. But with Journey Brown potentially missing the season due to a medical condition, and now Cain out for the season, that is clearly no longer the case.

The presumed starter going forward is sophomore Devyn Ford. He showed promise during the 2019 season in a limited role but had some well-publicized struggles against Indiana. With more time to prepare with first-team practice reps, Ford should improve as the season goes on. He also impressed as a pass blocker picking up blitzes, a notable skill for a younger player.

Backing him up will be two true freshmen in Caziah Holmes and Keyvone Lee. Both played small roles against Indiana after Cain went down, with Lee notably showing a good ability to use his size at 6-foot and 230 pounds. He may be best positioned to take over Cain's role as a physical north-south runner.

Brown has not been ruled out for the season, but the program has been clear that it is a possibility.

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