Des Moines, Iowa This is a time to heal at Iowa State.
With no game this week, coach Dan McCarney said Monday he hoped several injured players would have time to recover so they can play Sept. 27 at Northern Illinois.
The injured Cyclones include defensive back Johnny Smith and linebacker Matt Robertson, who have yet to play this season. Center Matt Bockes snapped only on extra points in Saturday's 40-21 loss to Iowa because of a sore leg, but he, too, is expected back.
McCarney was less certain about guard Bob Montgomery (broken foot) and kicker Tony Yelk (twisted knee). And he said Andy Kohler, a key special teams player, was having a knee examined Monday to determine the extent of an injury suffered against Iowa.
One who won't return is Tyson Smith, the team's best defensive end.
He's out for the season because of a broken leg.
Every so often, a team endures a year with more injuries than usual. Could this be one of those unfortunate seasons for the Cyclones?
"I hope not," McCarney said. "I'm hoping this will stop soon. I know it's part of the game ... but we're talking about some of the better guys we've got in the program."
Montgomery, the team's top offensive lineman, will have his foot X-rayed today to check on the healing. He broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during preseason practice.
Yelk was injured in a 48-20 victory over Ohio Sept. 6.
"Tony is day to day," McCarney said. "There's no surgery. He just tweaked it. It was a non-contact injury. We obviously missed him dearly on Saturday."
Yelk punts and handles the kickoffs. The Cyclones were poor in both areas against Iowa, which blocked two of Troy Blankenship's punts and recovered one for a touchdown.
The coaches did not name most valuable players on offense and special teams as is customary after a game.
"I'm not going to fabricate awards just to name somebody," McCarney said. "Nobody played to that caliber."
Iowa State's running game was a disappointment with only 71 yards -- 57 by quarterback Austin Flynn. Running backs Hiawatha Rutland and Michael Wagner combined for just 10 yards in 18 carries.
McCarney said the offensive line would get a close look this week and some younger players could move up. He said the No. 1 offense would work against the No. 1 defense.
"The best thing to help our offensive line would be Bob Montgomery coming back," McCarney said.¢
Hurricane Watch: After having last weekend off, Texas Tech and Texas A&M both are preparing for the games on the East Coast, which is bracing for Hurricane Isabel.
The Aggies are scheduled to play Thursday night at eighth-ranked Virginia Tech, and Texas Tech is supposed to play Saturday at North Carolina State.
Forecasters have said the hurricane could hit anywhere from North Carolina to New Jersey Thursday or Friday with sustained wind of up to 130 mph.¢
Quick Hits: Baylor DE Khari Long tore a ligament in his left knee and is out indefinitely. ... Colorado coach Gary Barnett was excited about his defense before the season, but it has given up at least 35 points twice. ... Nebraska is 3-0 for the seventh year in a row.