As Kansas State and Iowa State begin preparations for an early conference game in Ames, both sides will have to make adjustments in response to injury news.
Top Iowa State receiver Quenton Bundrage, will not play in Saturday’s game against K-State. Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads told reporters at his weekly news conference that Bundrage suffered a torn ACL against North Dakota State and is out for the season. His absence will be a big loss for an Iowa State offense that didn’t score in the second half of a 34-14 loss to North Dakota State. Bundrage was the team’s go-to receiver a year ago, hauling in 48 passes for 676 yards and nine touchdowns.
Freshman Allen Lazard will replace Bundrage, while D'Vario Montgomery will served as Lazard’s backup. Montgomery was suspended for a violation of team rules and did not play in the opener.
"Time for others to step up," Rhoads said, according to the Des Moines Register.
It wasn’t all bad news for Iowa State, though. Rhoads also said center Tom Farniok is expected to play against the Wildcats. Farniok missed much of Iowa State’s opener with an injury.
For K-State, the status of left tackle Cody Whitehair remains unknown. The junior offensive lineman missed late portions of the opener with an apparent injury to his right ankle, but he was seen walking into the locker room without assistance. K-State coach Bill Snyder didn’t mention Whitehair during his 10 minutes on the Big 12 coach’s teleconference.
He did say he expects to see an improved Iowa State team, though.
“They maybe didn’t get off to the start they’d hoped for, but you know they’re going to be better and vastly improved,” Snyder said.
Snyder seems most concerned about Iowa State’s offense. Though he knows new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino well, one game isn’t much to go on.
“Who knows this early in the season,” Snyder said. “There's a lot of offense that they have that you haven't seen. You have to go back and look over the years at the possibilities, and there's quite a bit out there. If (quaarterback Sam) Richardson is the guy, he can do a lot of things. He can throw it and he can run it, and that obviously is a threat to anyone and a concern. I like the running back, both of them. (Aaron) Wimberly is the returning starter. He shows quickness and a change of direction and he can make you miss and that's always a concern. When they get their receivers back, they have a good corps of receivers. Just looking, you see every position has a guy that's a returning starter. So you've got a bunch of guys with experience.”
Iowa State will likely spend much of its week preparing for K-State’s running back committee of DeMarcurs Robinson and Charles Jones. And maybe Judah Jones, too.
The Cyclones were horrible against the run Saturday, allowing North Dakota State to rush for 299 yards. The Bison averaged seven yards per carry.
“We only missed eight tackles in the ballgame against North Dakota State,” Rhoads said. “It wasn’t a matter of tackling. We have got to fit correctly. We have got to do a better job of getting off blocks and getting as many people to the ball carrier as we can.”
One more interesting tidbit: Snyder was asked a question about the possibility of Iowa State vs. Kansas State (Farmageddon) turning into a rivalry.
“Everything is a rivalry for us,” Snyder said. “Whoever is next on the schedule is the major opponent of all-time.”