Iowa State’s regular season rematch with Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl will be played without the team’s leading rusher. Per Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads, running back Shontrelle Johnson will miss the New Year’s Eve game with a knee injury he suffered during practice.
Rhoads didn’t get into the specifics of the injury, but it will require surgery — that will likely take place next month — and Johnson sustained it while making a cut. You can put two and two together on that one.
“He planted, and you know how violently he plants,” Rhoads said. “Something gave.”
Johnson was the team’s leading rusher in 2012 with 504 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Symbolizing ISU’s ground game struggles this season, he was also the only running back to eclipse 100 yards in a game — coincidentally enough in a 38-23 win against the Golden Hurricane in the first game of the season.
Fellow running back James White, who was also injured in practice, is expected to be healthy enough to play in the bowl game.