“He’s undersized. He works his butt off,” Arnaud said. “He’s only 275 pounds playing center in the Big 12. Pound for pound he’s definitely one of the strongest guys on our football team. I think he’s the strongest guy on the offensive line. It’s just sad to see him not be able to play.”
Lamaak also went out early in the A&M; game and did not return. Chizik didn’t disclose the nature of Lamaak’s injury, but it’s not believed to be serious. Arnaud, who rooms with Lamaak, said the 6-5, 315-pound sophomore was “walking around the house dragging his leg” on Sunday.
“I think those are the kind of things at this point in the year that pop up,” said Chizik, whose team plays at No. 9 Oklahoma State next Saturday.
“It’s everywhere on our team with guys getting nicked and dinged up. That’s what happens when you’re going into game nine. Ben’s a very tough guy and if he can play at all Saturday, he will. We’ll know more as the week wears on.”
Alex Alvarez has replaced Knapp and is backed up by last year’s starting center, Brandon Johnson. Scott Haughton, a true freshman, replaced Lamaak on Saturday night and probably would start at Oklahoma State if Lamaak can’t go.
The offensive line has been inconsistent all season and moving players in and out of the lineup certainly doesn’t help. Iowa State (2-6, 0-4 Big 12) is ninth in the league in rushing but showed some spark against A&M;, getting 173 of its 574 total yards.
The Cyclones also showed some variety in their offense. Tailback Alexander took a direct snap occasionally, wide receiver Marquis Hamilton completed a pass and wide receiver Darius Darks threw a pass to Arnaud.
“We had to be more creative in what we were trying to do both running it and throwing it,” Chizik said. “These last four games, you’re looking at very talented defenses, so we’re going to have to try to create some ways to move the ball.”