Utah State captured a 36-24 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday but the win might have come at quite the cost.
Star quarterback Chuckie Keeton suffered an injury to his left knee and missed the second half of the game. After further evaluation, the team is keeping him out of the lineup for the upcoming contest against Arkansas State in hopes that the elusive signal-caller won't miss a significant chunk of the season.
"Chuckie is fine from a health standpoint," Aggies coach Matt Wells said during his weekly press conference, according to The Deseret News. "The ACL is intact; everything's good. But it's banged up, guys, and that's the bottom line.
"So, we're going to sit him out this week, and we're going to sit him out next week. Then we're going to re-evaluate him during the BYU week."
Keeton tore his ACL last season against BYU in early October.
Against Wake Forest, Keeton went 20-for-37 for 166 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the first half but reportedly was slow getting up from several hits late in the second quarter. He didn't return to the field with the team after halftime and later emerged from the locker room on crutches.
Following the road trip to Arkansas State, the Aggies have a bye week before facing in-state rival BYU in Provo. By keeping Keeton out this week, Wells and his staff would give the quarterback nearly two weeks of rest before having to play a tough, physical defense like the Cougars'.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Keeton burst onto the national scene as a freshman and nearly led an upset of then-defending champion Auburn on The Plains. The senior is Utah State's second-winningest quarterback of all time and is an intriguing NFL draft prospect thanks to his accurate arm and elusiveness in the open field. One scout recently told NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks that Keeton could even be the best quarterback in the West if he returned to form after surgery on his knee.
Backup quarterback Darell Garretson, who was 6-1 as a starter last year after Keeton went down, will take over under center for Utah State.