Iowa State will be without its leading rusher in the Liberty Bowl

A knee injury will keep Shontrelle Johnson out of the Liberty Bowl. (US Presswire)

When Iowa State beat Tulsa 38-23 to open the season, running back Shontrelle Johnson rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown. When Iowa State finishes its season against Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl on New Year's Eve, Shontrelle Johnson will be on the sidelines awaiting surgery on his right knee.

Johnson injured his right knee in a noncontact drill during practice Sunday, and he'll need surgery on the knee.

“He planted, and you know how violently he plants,” said Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads after practice. “Something gave. I think what he’s gone through already with the neck has helped his mind-set. He knows what he’s got in front of him as far as rehab, and he’ll do a great job with it.”

Johnson missed the Pinstripe Bowl last season after suffering a neck injury.

Running back James White suffered a head injury last week and did not practice on Sunday, though Rhoads fully expects White to be healthy for the bowl game and start in Johnson's place.

Johnson finished the regular season as Iowa State's leading rusher with 504 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 115 yards and another touchdown.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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