NOTEBOOK: Knott plays through pain in Homecoming win


Jake Knott talks to coaches Paul Rhoads and Wally Burnham during the game against Baylor on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Jack Trice Stadium. Knott recorded 11 tackles during the Homecoming game.

Jake Calhoun

Despite the speculation regarding his health, Jake Knott played through the pain of a re-aggravated shoulder injury as if it was nothing.

The businesslike senior linebacker recorded 11 total tackles — his 19th-career game with 10-plus tackles — while spearheading a defensive effort that held opposing Baylor to a season-low in points in Iowa State’s 35-21 Homecoming win Oct. 27.

It was against Baylor last season that Knott dislocated his shoulder twice and popped it back into place on the sideline during the 18-tackle performance. Since then, the road to recovery has been rough.

“We couldn’t get him to wear the brace before,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads of Knott. “He’s like my oldest — he doesn’t always want to listen. He doesn’t listen to doctors, he doesn’t listen to me and they like him to wear that brace as a precautionary measure and he finally decided to wear it.”

Knott said there are a few options regarding what he’s going to do about his injury, but nothing is set in stone.

“Jake being the guy he is and the kind of player he is, he’s going to be hard-nosed and he wants to play every single game he can,” said linebacker A.J. Klein. “He told me before the game he’s going to shut it out of his mind and play his hardest like he always does.”

While speculation arose regarding whether he would even play, Klein said Knott made the decision to play earlier in the week.

“He was sore and started feeling better [during] the week,” Klein said of Knott. “His mindset didn’t change. He knew he was going to play.”

With his 11-tackle performance against Baylor (3-4, 0-4 Big 12), Knott now has 347 career tackles — six away from passing Larry Hunt (352 from 1971-73) for fifth all time.

Iowa State (5-3, 2-3) dominated the time of possession for just the third time this season, giving the defense a chance to stay fresh against Baylor’s high-octane offense.

“That’s not just a credit to our defense, but a credit to our offense for staying on the field as long as they did,” Knott said after the game.

White returns, Lenz stays sidelined

Knott was not the only team captain whose health was a concern going into Iowa State’s Homecoming win against Baylor.

After sitting out the past two games due to a knee injury, running back James White returned to account for 42 of Iowa State’s 176 rushing yards.

“My hat goes off to these kids [with] what they give us,” Rhoads said. “[Having had] surgery 16 days ago or something like that, [White] really got after his rehab, got clearance and he wanted on the field.”

Receiver Josh Lenz remained sidelined with a quadriceps injury after a hesitant showing in warmups before the game.

“He could have gone, wanted to go,” Rhoads said of Lenz. “I’d rather have him for the next four [games] than have him out there trying to do too much tonight and strain it further.”