CEDAR FALLS — Stephen Kaiser has moved on.
Sam Rohr and Mac O’Brien remain on hold.
With those items and others on the agenda Monday, Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley closed the bye week chapter of the 2013 season and began pointing to Saturday’s non-conference football game at Northern Colorado.
The Panthers will make the trip to Greeley without Kaiser. A 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior quarterback from St. Louis, Kaiser has transferred to Division II Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
Over a year ago, Kaiser came to UNI after spending two seasons at Southern Methodist University. Farley suggested that his new quarterback was a contender for the starting spot, but Sawyer Kollmorgen won the No. 1 job. Kaiser played in five games last fall, attempting one pass.
By the time UNI defeated Drake, Kaiser had fallen behind Nebraska transfer Brion Carnes and settled into the No. 3 line on the quarterback depth chart.
So a decision was made, and Kaiser departed.
“Stephen’s a good football player,” said Farley. “He wanted to play and get on the field, you know. His clock was ticking, so he was at that stage of making a really tough decision.”
Farley said that Justin Black has returned to a backup role at quarterback after what turned out to be a temporary shift to receiver. So UNI is deep enough behind Kollmorgen to satisfy the coach.
“We’re in good shape at quarterback right now, as we sit here today,” said Farley, but that could change, too.”
The status of Rohr and O’Brien hasn’t changed, either, and that’s not good news for those two Panthers.
Farley said that the dislocated elbow that knocked Rohr out of the Iowa State game will likely keep the tight end out for Northern Colorado. There’s a chance he could return for the Sept. 28 home game with McNeese State.
“He needs to get stronger in the elbow,” said Farley.
The outlook for O’Brien and his broken foot is bleak. Farley said the senior defensive tackle from Waterloo Columbus could miss the entire 2013 season.
“It’s not healing,” said Farley of O’Brien’s foot injury. “It’s not healing at the pace it needs to right now. Being a foot, that’s a tough deal. So, at this point, it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to make it without the problems with it.
“We’re looking long term now and unless something changes I don’t foresee that happening right now.”
TIME FOR TIM — Upon further review, linebacker Sam Tim’s suspension has been upheld and he must sit out the first half of the Northern Colorado game. He’ll spend the opening two quarters in the Panthers’ lockerroom, said Farley.
Tim was disqualified from UNI’s win over Drake under the new “targeting” rules for his hit on Michael Hudson.
WATER WORKS — The heavy rain and subsequent flooding in the state of Colorado has hit Greeley, the home of Northern Colorado, and the university itself. UNC was closed Monday.
Farley said he’s begun to monitor the situation in the west, but he doesn’t know if the football game will be affected.
“We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out this week and get ready and move from there,” he said.
STAGE, COACH — Farley chuckled when someone asked him when UNI might host ESPN’s “College GameDay.” The cable network’s popular football pre-game program will be visiting North Dakota State and Fargo Saturday.
Farley felt the presence of ESPN would be good for the entire Football Championship Subdivision in the wake of NDSU’s win at Kansas State and UNI defeating Iowa State. But, the coach said, he has other priorities.
“It would be neat to get (GameDay) here someday, somehow, someway,” added Farley. “I’d rather go to Frisco. We’ve just got to make sure we take care of Northern Colorado before we start worrying about that stuff”
Frisco, Texas, is the site of the FCS national championship game.