Iowa State Cyclones running back Shontrelle Johnson will miss the Liberty Bowl against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on December 31 with a knee injury. Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads says Johnson injured his right knee making a cut during practice on Saturday.
Rhoads says Johnson likely will have surgery in January.
Johnson was the leading rusher for the Cyclones in 2012, having carried the ball 115 times this season for 504 yards and four touchdowns. But it was in the season opener in 2012 – which also just happened to be against Tulsa – where Johnson had what was easily his best game of the year.
In a 38-23 win for the Cyclones, Johnson carried the ball 18 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. In fact, it was not only his highest carry total and rushing yards total of the season, but it was the only time in a game in 2012 where he even topped the 75 yard mark.
Clearly, he was looking forward to this rematch with the Golden Hurricane in the Liberty Bowl in two weeks.
Johnson’s injury will likely open the door for James White to handle the starting duties and receive the lion’s share of the carries in the Liberty Bowl rematch with Tulsa. White carried the ball 89 times for 469 yards and a pair of scores this season, finishing the year with a higher yards-per-carry average than Johnson.
The Liberty Bowl will take place on New Year’s Eve at 3:30 PM in Memphis, pitting the 6-6 Cyclones against the 10-3 Golden Hurricane.