As if the odds weren’t long enough in the Big Game for the 1-10 Bears, sophomore wide receiver Chris Harper has been declared out with a hip injury that had slowed him the previous three weeks.
“It’s a bummer. Chris has been a playmaker for us all year, just hasn’t gotten healthy,” coach Sonny Dykes said. “He’s been trying to work through it, just got to the point where he couldn’t do it anymore. So we’re going to shelve him and start getting him ready for next year.”
Harper is fourth in the Pac-12 with 70 receptions and has been the Bears’ best deep threat. But the hip has limited his recent productivity. Over the past three games, Harper has caught 15 passes for just 82 yards.
Also, junior linebacker Khairi Fortt will miss his third straight game with a biceps injury.
Dykes said the Bears’ final practice of the season went well.
“I think the guys are upbeat. They understand this is a way to salvage something from this season if we go out there and pull an upset,” he said.
A sports psychologist was the Bears’ guest speaker before practuce. “Pretty interesting guy,” Dykes said. “He talked to our guys about state of mind. It’s important, obviously, as we get ready for Saturday and start working for next year.”