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UND running back Otis Weah won't play against Southern Illinois

Weah is out sick for the Fighting Hawks' 2 p.m. kickoff against Southern Illinois in Carbondale.

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UND's Otis Weah rushes past Bison defenders James Kaczor (26,) Jake Kava (54) and Jasir Cox (3) at the Alerus Center. UND's Billy Riviere (81) looks on. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The UND offense will try to find rhythm Saturday afternoon against No. 4 Southern Illinois without one of its best players.

Running back Otis Weah is out sick and didn't travel to Carbondale, where the Fighting Hawks will kick off at 2 p.m. at Saluki Stadium.

Weah, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award in the spring, will miss his second game of the season. He was benched earlier this fall against Drake.

In four games, Weah, a powerful running back from Moorhead, has 73 carries for 304 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns came in UND's Week 1 win at Idaho State.

The Hawks have struggled to find running room for Weah this fall, as the team has shuffled lineups on its offensive line.

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Weah ran 15 times for 58 yards last week against South Dakota. His longest run of the season is 16 yards.

Weah's absence opens the door for junior Luke Skokna, who ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on eight carries when Weah was sat out against Drake.

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Smith ran for 125 yards on 12 carries against Drake and will likely see an increased workload against the Salukis.

UND's two other running backs in Carbondale are true freshman Gaven Ziebarth and junior Austin Clemetson, a transfer from Wyoming.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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