MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kyle Kempt took a few steps off the Iowa State team plane with a sense of relief in his voice.
The crisp, 34-degree weather at Wilson Air Center was a welcome change of pace from the conditions the Cyclones just left.
“This feels like 70 degrees compared to Ames,” the redshirt senior quarterback said as he boarded the team bus headed to the Peabody Hotel.
The conditions for the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30 against No. 19 Memphis won’t be as balmy as they would’ve been in the Orlando or San Antonio games, but it’ll be a familiar routine for the Cyclones (7-5). It won’t be single-digits at least.
ISU started to practice outside the cozy confines of the Bergstrom Football Complex in the late weeks of the regular season, which served as unintended preparation them for the setup in Memphis. The Cyclones will hold three outdoor practices at Rhodes College this week and won’t divert from the established plan they’ve used much of the season.
“We’re going to continue to practice how we practice,” Campbell said shortly after the team’s arrival. “We got outside (at the end of the year) so I don’t think it really affects us that much, and obviously we’re used to this weather. I think our last four or five games were in this sort of weather.”
Since the Liberty Bowl isn’t until Saturday and kicks off at 11:30 a.m. (ABC), ISU isn’t altering its practice plan much, Campbell said. Monday usually serves as an off day, and because the team traveled early in the week, it opens up the latter part of the week for typical practices.
Campbell said the roster that travels for typical road games made the trek to Memphis and, “we’re all locked in and loaded. No surprises right now.”
“Now we can really get here, get settled and get into our normal routine,” he said. “The only thing we’re going to do different is we’re going to practice earlier in the morning rather than later in the afternoon. I think that’s almost a good thing with us playing an early game.
“We kind of were in our normal schedule last week so I think we’ll be ready to go. We’ll probably shorten our practice a little bit this week so we’re ready for Saturday.”
Practices and the game itself are at the center of focus this week, but there will be a few extra components to the event schedule this week.
The team will participate in a welcome party at Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in downtown Memphis on Tuesday, tour the National Civil Rights Museum on Wednesday and will attend a Beale Street parade on Friday.
“I think that’s part of the whole bowl experience,” Campbell said. “I’ve been to Washington, D.C., and Mobile, and now you come to a place like Memphis where there’s a lot of history and a lot to teach our kids. I think that’s an equal part of it for our football team. I don’t mind that at all.”