Oct 7, 2017; Norman, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Kyle Kempt (17) warms up prior to action against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
AMES — I have now watched Iowa State’s 38-31 upset over Oklahoma three times (believe it or not I do this for every game, not just the monumental upsets). I’ve got a theory…
First, I want to rehash what I wrote last week following the 17-7 home loss to Texas. Tom Manning is a really, really good coach. What he did with last year’s offense – specifically the line – from game one until the end of the season was nothing short of incredible.
How about this thought to tickle your brain on a Monday? Kyle Kempt actually helped Manning improve as a play caller on Saturday.
With no disrespect intended, Kempt’s arm isn’t exactly one you will see compared to Brett Favre’s anytime soon.
As a coach, when you travel to Norman with a third-string, walk-on senior who hadn’t taken a meaningful snap since high school at your disposal, you’re going to be a little more vanilla with your offensive game plan.
But with weapons like Allen Lazard, Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery on your roster, is basic bad?
No, it isn’t.
After watching the game on my own and then reading Jay Jordan’s fantastic X’s and O’s recap last night, that is exactly how I would describe Iowa State’s offensive attack on Saturday.
Even though it wasn’t always working, Manning stuck with the run game and gave Montgomery 17 opportunities (3.2 yards per carry). Joel Lanning had nine (3.9 yards per carry) of his own.
Manning’s play calls via the air gave Kempt easy throws to make and to No. 17’s credit, he didn’t force a single pass in the game that I noted. His decision making was – dare I say – perfect.
That’s the maturity of a fifth-year journeyman, who I’m told is as humble as any guy on the team. Kempt is aware of his limitations and simply put the football in a spot where his playmakers could make plays. Lucky for Iowa State, guys like Trever Ryen and Lazard made huge plays down the stretch.
There isn’t much doubt in my mind that over 12 games, Iowa State’s ceiling is higher with Jacob Park at the helm. But Saturday’s offensive game plan (followed by execution) was nothing short of a masterpiece.
I want to give a fresh commentary on Joel Lanning today but I can’t do any better than what has already been done, starting with this Kevin Fitzpatrick piece from Saturday.
Then last night, Keith Murphy nailed it on SoundOff with his idea to create a “Joel Lanning Award,” given to the best teammate on Iowa State’s roster at the end of every season.
— SoundOFF (@SoundOFF13) October 9, 2017
The only thing I would add is that five games into the season, Lanning is second in the Big 12 and sixth in the nation averaging 10.8 tackles per game. That’s incredible.
It will be a busy week for us here at Cyclone Fanatic.
Iowa State is a 20-point favorite for Saturday’s 11 a.m. kick vs. Kansas.
We’ve got women’s basketball media day on Tuesday along with Hilton Madness on Friday.
Overlap season is here and we love it! Our team will be working hard so please continue to check out the site for new content and share our stuff on social media.
Have a great Monday!