The Cincinnati Bearcats will be without starting quarterback Gunner Kiel when they travel to take on San Diego State in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. Kiel has been away from the team on personal matters and on Thursday head coach Tommy Tuberville addressed the media about Kiel's absence.
"Gunner is taking care of personal problems," Tuberville said via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He's asked if we can kind of recognize his privacy. He's not off the team. He'll be back. I don't know when, but he'll be back. That's pretty much all I can say about it."
Cincinnati is making it clear that Kiel is out for personal reasons and it has nothing to do with legal or disciplinary issues.
In Kiel's place will be redshirt freshman Hayden Moore and this is not his first time handling this offense for Kiel. Moore took over when Kiel left the Memphis game with a concussion and ended up completing 31 of 53 passes for 557 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Overall, Moore saw time in seven games and completed 58.5 percent of his passes while averaging 240 yards per game with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
"Hayden has played quite a bit," Tuberville said. "He's had some good games, he's had some down games. It's time Hayden stepped up, see what he can do. That's the reason you have more than one player at a position, and knowing how important the quarterback position is, we've worked real hard with Hayden even though he's played only a limited amount."
Backing up Moore will be Luke Wright who is a redshirt freshman and appeared in four games this year, going 1-for-3 passing for 16 yards.
Tubberville did not allow the quarterbacks to be available to speak with the media after Thursday's practice.