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Iowa City Press-Citizen from Iowa City, Iowa • 66

Iowa City, Iowa
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Without Byars, alibis for OSU? I 10 fHH Bit 3 ISS From page 1 opposing backfield. That's Keith Byars, the nation's leading rusher and the runner-up in the Heisman balloting last year. The guy who makes would-be open field tacklers look as feeble as three-day-old pumpkins. Were he healthy all season, Byars is the guy who would probably have all the Heisman Trophy prognosticators arguing over whether Auburn's Bo Jackson or Iowa's Chuck Long would come in second to him in the voting for the best football player in the country. But he's not healthy.

Hasn't been all year, and if you believe the papers won't play today after reinjuring the foot he broke during a Labor Day workout. On Monday, Ohio State coach Earle Bruce reported that the doctors had given Byars the OK to play. On Wednesday, OK turned into oh no. After practice, Bruce said Byars had been unable to practice, and that usually if a player hasn't practiced by Wednesday, he doesn't play. Thursday morning, Bruce said Byars was "doubtful," and then later in the day Bruce was even more emphatic.

"He did not practice; he is not going to play," Bruce said. Great news for Iowa, right? Not necessarily. "I want to play against him, I really do," Peterson said. "If we play well enough to beat them I don't want any excuses of 'Well, we could have won with Keith He's a great player. I can't say enough about the guy." And Byars probably couldn't say enough about the Iowa defense after all, he's had such a good time against them in the last couple of years.

In last season's game, the 6-foot-2, 236 pound Byars ran for two touchdowns, caught a pass for another and also threw a halfback pass good for a TD while gaining 120 yards on 23 carries. In 1983 Byars only rushed for 98 yards against Iowa in two quarters. He left the game in the second period with an injury after carrying the ball nine times and scoring one touchdown. Peterson said the fact Byars was injured was a "definite factor" in the outcome. All of which sounds like good reason for Iowa's defense to get a kick out of the fact that the injured foot will probably keep Byars out of action.

"(The defense) respects Byars and they know he's a good football player," Iowa defensive coordinator Bill Brashier said. "They enjoy playing against the best." Byars would enjoy being able to play, period. For a man who set his sights on the Heisman Trophy, 1985 has come up more than a foot short. He missed the first five games with the break to the fifth metatarsal bone in his foot. He returned to play in the Purdue game, but the following week Byars rein-jured his foot when some Minnesota players fell on it in the third quarter.

Bruce said this week the current injury is unrelated to the broken foot and that the soreness Byars has had is in the ankle area. "It's hurting him not to play," Ohio State quarterback Jim Karsatos said. "We want him in there, but we don't want him to hurt himself any more." And there are those who, upon hearing that Byars was injured again, were of the opinion that Byars was only hurting himself by trying to rush his return to action. "First of all I thought he was stupid because he doesn't have to prove anything to anybody," Iowa Turn to noxt page AP loserpHoio Iowa's Hap Peterson would like to see this man running at him today..

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