AMES — Just two days after losing its season opener, Iowa State was dealt another blow, this time to one of its most prolific players from last season.
Junior wide receiver Quenton Bundrage tore his ACL in Saturday’s game against North Dakota State and will be forced to miss the rest of the season Coach Paul Rhoads confirmed at Monday’s news conference. Bundrage sustained the injury on the fourth play of the game, and Rhoads said the Palmetto, Fla., native took the news “as hard as you’d expect him to.”
“Really looking forward to not only a big-play season, but a consistent season from himself,” Rhoads said of Bundrage. “To have that taken away on the fourth play of the football game is really disheartening for the young man. He was in a lot of pain on Saturday night physically, and he’s in a lot of pain mentally right now.”
Bundrage had a breakout season as a sophomore leading the Cyclones in catches (48), receiving yards (676) and touchdown catches (9). Freshman Allen Lazard was elevated to the top of Monday’s depth chart as Bundrage’s replacement.
Sophomore receiver Dondre Daley, who led ISU wide receivers in receptions against the Bison with five, said he hopes to step up in Bundrage’s absence while still learning all he can from his teammate.
“Even though he’s hurt, I’m still going to get coached up from him and I’m still going to ask him, ‘How can I run this route better and how can I get open?’” Daley said. “I watch him a lot every day in practice to learn from him.”
After serving one-game suspensions during the season opener, Iowa State will be able to use junior receivers Tad Ecby and sophomore D’Vario Montgomery, who add to the already deep position group. Players are viewing the loss of Bundrage as an opportunity to have a next-man-in mentality.
“It’s tough being how well he performed last year and he wanted to build on that,” Richardson said of Bundrage. “It’s tough for him and it’s tough for the team. Hopefully he can be a vocal guy for us now and help out on the practice field.”
Even though Bundrage is lost for the season, Rhoads delivered a bit of encouraging news for ISU fans saying he believes senior center Tom Farniok will play against Kansas State after suffering an MCL strain Saturday.
Rhoads said Farniok told doctors on the field it was not as bad of an injury as he sustained a year ago, and that he doesn’t expect the injury to be a nagging one unless he is hit in exactly the right way. Rhoads also said Farniok’s return would be key because replacing the experience of a four-year starter isn’t the easiest thing to do.
“It’s simply that, it’s irreplaceable. Jamison (Lalk) came in and played well and he’s a smart player, but there’s just something about a leader and the glue that he holds that elevates the football team,” Rhoads said. “When you lose that glue you can’t help but be affected. Unfortunately it was in a negative way. It’s an adversity lesson that we have to learn to overcome.”
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