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December 26, 2016

Sam McCaskill

Phoenix, Arizona

SAM MCCASKILL: They're going to start out and try and establish the run. So within the front six, front seven, that's huge on us, like, that's our responsibility.

And so that's something that we're going to need to stop. In order to stop their offense we've got to stop their run first. And so you know that will be huge.

And then you see in their pass game, they get a lot of big plays out of the receivers. They'll throw the ball up and they'll go up and make plays.

So that's on us as well. We need to get after the quarterback so he doesn't feel comfortable back there, just putting it out there and putting our DBs on an island. And just trying to help them out as much as we can.

Q. And you said you were here, your first year was Petersen's class, right?

Q. What's the difference between Petersen and Bryan?
SAM MCCASKILL: There's a lot of similarities in there. And they've coached together for a long time. So you can see the parallel right there. You know, they place such a big emphasis on the man you're becoming and what you do off the field.

You know, everybody -- so many people worry about your production on the field, but that only takes up four years, if that, of your life. And so what they're trying to do is create a culture that will be beneficial to you kind of in the workforce, and so they do a great job with that, teaching you a lot of life lessons and different success tactics to go into the business world.

Q. I'm covering you guys for the Mountain West Network. We have these players like (indiscernible) and McCaffrey, but they're not going to play in the bowl game. From a player's perspective, what do you (indiscernible)?
SAM MCCASKILL: You know, I think there's always --

Q. What people said before, you guys came down here, I'm going pro or getting ready for the draft, not going to play. What would be your mindset?
SAM MCCASKILL: I don't know. That's tough, because I think something that plays into those decisions big is if you have had a lingering injury that you've kind of been playing through, you don't, maybe not make it to the bowl game you're hoping to, like maybe one of the New Year's Six bowls, so there's incentive because you do have a lot to protect.

I saw an interview Nick Saban did talking about kind of the importance people place on the playoffs. And then kind of downplaying all the other bowl games. And so that kind of makes it less of a decision.

I agree, I think there is a lot of talk of the New Year's Six bowl and the other ones get pushed aside a little bit. So some of the players don't feel it's as big of a stage to play on.

So I think I would have a better answer for you if something like that were to happen in our program. But in those guys' defense, I bet there's some background stuff that a lot of us don't know about that weighs into their decision.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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