AMES — The nature of the block clearly caught ISU linebacker Jevohn Miller off guard.
On Oklahoma’s second offensive play Saturday, the senior leader tumbled to the ground, clutching a knee, writhing in pain. The Cyclones’ top tackler would not return — and might not be back, ever, which would mean a sad end to a rejuvenated career.
"I saw him crutching around," fellow linebacker Luke Knott said. "I told him to keep his head up."
Some on Twitter found it hard not to pipe up and question the block’s legality.
Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads said he’d have to review tape to render his final decision on the matter.
“I’ve been told what people observed and whether it was legal or not, I couldn’t tell you until I see the film," he said. "Must have been because there was no flag on the play. It was a side chop block and a tough play for the young man.”
Miller led ISU with 68 tackles entering Saturday’s 59-14 loss. He scored a touchdown two weeks ago in the 48-45 loss at Texas, scooping up a fumble and running 51 yards to the end zone.
"It will be hard to fill his shoes," said Cyclone cornerback Sam Richardson, who snared two interceptions.
It’s also too soon to determine how ISU will do it. Knott slid into Miller’s inside spot late in the game, but is unsure if a switch is in order for him as the Cyclones prepare for next week’s game at Kansas.
Kane Seeley replaced Miller for most of the game, notching nine tackles (two solo).
"Haven’t thought that far," said Knott, who’s typically WILL linebacker. "Worrying about making corrections from this game nd going forward from there.”
FIRST SNAPS: Sophomore quarterback Grant Rohach took his first snaps of the season in the blowout loss, completing 2 of 4 passes for eight yards. He played the final 11:43 of the game as starter Sam Richardson rested.
QB SAM’S HEALTH: Richardson limped at times late in the game, but Rhoads said he’s no more banged up than usual. "Sam’s OK," Rhoads said. "He’ll probably be downstairs getting treated up for awhile, but nothing plong-term, nothing serious.”
FAKE PUNT FOLLIES: The set-up was flawless. Down 28-7 and fresh off a fourth-down defensive stop by T.J. Mutcherson, ISU dusted off its fake punt play. And it was well-timed and well-executed — until it came to the catch. Safety Qujaun Floyd stood alone waiting for the pass from pooch punter Holden Kramer at the OU 20-yard line and … dropped the ball. One of those days. "We were going to end up inside the 20 at the very least if not score on the play," Rhoads said. "There was still enough momentum and life in us at that time that at 28-14 I would have been thrilled to see what we could have done.”