Backup quarterback Zeb Noland talks about waiting for his turn if Kyle Kempt can’t play Saturday
Tommy Birch, firstname.lastname@example.org
AMES, Ia.— Kyle Kempt participated in some drills during Iowa State’s Wednesday afternoon practice, but whether he plays Saturday against fifth-ranked Oklahoma remains uncertain.
“He’s out there. He’s moving around. He’s throwing the ball. I don’t necessarily know what his status is, but he was out there doing things,” receivers coach Bryan Gasser said after practice.
Kempt suffered what coach Matt Campbell initially thought might be an MCL injury during the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s loss against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. He downgraded that initial assessment Monday during the coaches’ Big 12 teleconference, saying:
“His availability this week is still up in the question, but it’s a little better than maybe what we thought the outcome was going to be on Saturday. The reality of it is that we dodged a big bullet.”
Kempt has been wearing a brace on his left knee since the injury. Campbell said during his weekly press conference with reporters in Ames on Tuesday that it’s still iffy whether the signal-caller plays in Saturday’s 11 a.m. Big 12 Conference opener at Jack Trice Stadium.
“Whether (Kempt plays) this week or hereafter, I see this not being a long-term issue,” Campbell said.
The staff isn’t likely to update Kempt’s status until game day.
“Everything is looking really promising,” Gasser said Wednesday. “We’re excited about how things are progressing, where things are at. We’ve still got a few days until game day, but we certainly feel right now that everything is moving and trending in a good direction.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean Kempt will start — or even play.
“The training staff calls the shots on that,” Gasser said. “At the end of the day, we’re not going to put anybody in a situation where they’re not ready for what’s coming for them. If we get to Saturday and they feel Kyle isn’t 100 percent, then we’ll explore other options.”
If Kempt doesn’t start, Zeb Noland will get the call against a 2-0 team that has eight sacks in two games — including six last Saturday against UCLA.
Source: Des Moines Register