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Iowa running back Toren Young is from Wisconsin, but he understands the importance of Saturday's CyHawk game and is excited to finally play in one Mark Emmert, memmert@gannett.com

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — The Hawkeyes will be down a key running back for Saturday’s Cy-Hawk showdown.

Ivory Kelly-Martin is out against Iowa State with a left ankle injury, Iowa sideline reporter Rob Brooks confirmed on the pregame show. Kelly-Martin didn't participate in pregame warmups. The sophomore got dinged up in the fourth quarter of last week’s win over Northern Illinois. 

Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday that Kelly-Martin was one of a few players who were “dicey” for the Cy-Hawk matchup. There was hope he’d be ready to go as the week progressed, but Saturday’s absence indicates that Kelly-Martin couldn’t quite get right in time.

“We’re still trying to figure out where we’re going to be in the backfield. He’s working awfully hard to get back from that little nick,” offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz said Wednesday on KxNO’s “HawkCentral” radio program. “Whoever’s available on Saturday, we’re going with them.”

Kelly-Martin ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 16 carries last week, but Toren Young and Mekhi Sargent had productive showings as well. Iowa will likely lean on those two even more Saturday.

This is the benefit of having a deep running back committee. Iowa certainly would rather have Kelly-Martin healthy than not, but there is serviceable depth ready to pick up the slack.   

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.

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