AMES — Iowa State has gone through its fair share of quarterbacks this season.
The Cyclones started the season with incumbent Jacob Park. After he left due to personal medical issues, the job went to redshirt senior walk-on Kyle Kempt.
Kempt split time with linebacker and former quarterback Joel Lanning. Then Kempt was forced out of the game on Saturday against Oklahoma State with an injured right shoulder, thrusting redshirt freshman Zeb Noland into the spotlight.
Noland was coming off a torn ACL during his redshirt season and the only other real game experience he had was in the Kansas win during garbage time. He also split time with Lanning.
The only other quarterback on Iowa State’s roster is Devon Moore of Waterloo, who tore his ACL before the season and is redshirting.
Coach Matt Campbell said Kempt practiced Sunday but he didn’t throw the ball. It’s not an injury that will require surgery, but Campbell will know more on Kempt’s status on Wednesday.
But who’s Campbell’s backup now if Noland starts and Kempt can’t go?
Receiver Deshaunte Jones, running back David Montgomery and defensive back Darius Lee-Campbell all played quarterback in high school. They’re next in line.
“There are some other guys that played quarterback that we would have to prepare to get ready,” Campbell said. “Obviously, Deshaunte has done some of that. They’ve taken some reps at that spot.”
Strangely enough, this wouldn’t be the first time Campbell had to put a position player at quarterback.
“At Toledo, in my second to last year, we had to play a wide receiver (Dwight Macon) against Northern Illinois for the MAC championship and he played the entire game and threw for over 100 yards,” Campbell said. “You have to have the ability to adapt and overcome. We’re fortunate enough that we have enough playmakers and guys to be able to do it that can go in and have success.”
Macon completed 8 of 11 pass attempts for 140 yards and ran for another 111. Toledo lost the game 27-24.
BOWL TIME: Iowa State has a bowl game secured with six wins. That means the Cyclones will get an extra 15 practices after the regular season ends. Those practices are key to a program’s development.
“I think those 15 practices are invaluable for a young program and if you don’t get them it can really set you back in my honest opinion if you don’t get those opportunities,” Campbell said.
“A guy like Zeb will certainly benefit from it, some of those young offensive linemen, a guy like Johnnie Lang. There are a lot of young guys in our program that we’re really high on that I think really need that attention. It’ll be invaluable for this football team.”
Campbell said it was miserable when he didn’t get those extra practices last season. He felt like it stunted the growth of his team and put the Cyclones a month behind. He had to find creative ways to get that month back.
RYEN INJURY: Iowa State receiver Trever Ryen left the game on Saturday after a big helmet-to-helmet hit against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys’ player was ejected for targeting.
“He should be ready to go. I don’t see him not being prepared to play in this game (against Baylor),” Campbell said. “He practiced yesterday, which was great to see. I think it was just the timing of when it happened and the amount of time left in the game just didn’t allow him to get back in the football game.
“I think if that would’ve happened in the first quarter, he would’ve been back in the football game later on.”