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Notes and quotes from Poinsettia Bowl news conference


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On Kyle Van Noy and Cody Hoffman possibly leaving and how much he gets involved in the decision-making process:

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"I really get involved as they would like me to be. And what I have learned in coaching is that there are teachable moments and most of those are initiated by the players. Very few are initiated by the coach. And so when they come to me interested as to what they might do, then I have a great chance to talk to them. And in Kyle's case, we had a lot of discussions about it. Cody I don't think is considering it nearly as strongly as Kyle is or was.

So I play a supplemental role to the point of getting them as much information as they would like. So besides my opinion, what I have done is gathered all the resources and opinions of others that are maybe more knowledgeable, or have more to say, regarding the NFL, general managers, etc."

On how challenging the QB situation has been all year:

"First of all, it has been really surprising, as Riley [Nelson] has been such a phenomenal leader for our program. He was voted as captain and competes so fiercely. Really, the major lesson for this particular year has just simply been validated by our statistics on the turnover margin. When we are even or plus-one in turnovers, in [my] eight years, we are 56-6. So if we don't turn it over, and are at least even with our opponent, we have a great chance to win. This year we have turned it over more than what we have usually done, and still have had a great chance to win.

So one less turnover here or there, is really the difference in the season. None of those were based on I think haphazard plays. Most of them were effort plays, if anything trying a little too hard. And so that's what I have really tried to help our team understand they just have to play within their job description. That would be quarterback and any other spot. That really gives us our best shot to win."


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On whether offensive continuity is hurt with the QB shuffle:

"Yeah, it always hurts having a different player come in, especially at that position. I think from the offensive staff, it makes them work harder as well. So luckily we had Jamaal step up when Mike Alisa went down, and do a nice job in the running game. And luckily Cody stayed healthy at receiver the majority of the year. So there have been some stable things as well, and that has gotten us to where I think we can compete and play hard against anyone. But it has also kinda prevented us from having mabye the marquee season I think we were hoping for, if you gauge it by wins and losses."

On difficulty of choosing between Riley Nelson and James Lark because both are seniors:

"It is not so much that they are seniors, but in this particular case that it has kind of been opposite. We have been holding the game plan for Riley, in most every case, and giving him every rep possible. In this one, with him being more hurt, and just slower to recover, it has actually gone the other way, where James has gotten more of the work, and Riley is sort of the on-call player, so to speak, by practice. So that's been a little bit different."

On the two-quarterback system not working out before:

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