Day three of Holiday Bowl week kicked off with the coaches press conference. Arizona State’s Todd Graham and Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury agreed that they couldn’t be more thrilled to have their teams playing in San Diego.
The main topic of conversation for ASU was the playing status of RB Marion Grice, who injured his leg during the UCLA game on Nov. 23rd.
When I spoke with Coach Graham he said, “Marion probably won’t play in the bowl. Losing him is a big disappointment but luckily we have D.J. Foster. Foster is an explosive player and he will be receiving more snaps, his role will increase even more against the Red Raiders.”
Not only will D.J. Foster have to step up with the absence of Grice, but QB Taylor Kelly will once again have to provide a big leadership role on Monday. Graham was very complimentary of what Kelly’s presence means to the offense stating, “the intangibles that he has, come very natural to him. His discipline/work ethic is the best on the team. He builds relationships and is very respected by the team and that’s what you want in your QB.”
Another takeaway from the presser for ASU is earning that 11th win. A victory in the Holiday Bowl would mark only the sixth time in program history that the Sun Devils have accomplished that feat. Also on the line is a chance for back-to-back bowl wins. “It would be monumental to get 11 wins. It was gut-wrenching to get to the championship game and not get it. This 11th win is very, very important to the team and seniors,” Graham stated.
For Texas Tech, the offense experienced a big setback when former starting QB Baker Mayfield transferred at the end of the regular season. Kliff Kingsbury discussed the current quarterback situation stating, “both signal callers reps have jumped up. Right now we are back to the basic fundamentals.”
However, the million-dollar question for the Red Raiders is which QB will be starting between Davis Webb and Michael Brewer. Coach Kingsbury was very tight-lipped on this topic stating, “as of right now I have not named a starter, I wouldn’t be surprised though if both of them end up playing.”
Guess we will have to wait and see if this holds true on Monday. For more updates on the Holiday Bowl make sure to follow DieHard Devil on twitter at @DieHardDevilASU. Also Amanda Pflugrad on twitter@AmandaPflugrad and Instragram: Amanda_Pflugrad.