MSU OC Les Koenning Talks MSU Quarterbacks

Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning sat down with Gene's Page and talked about each of the positions on the offensive side of the ball. Today, in part-1, he talks about the quarterbacks.


Senior quarterback Chris Relf has really improved since he got here as a freshman. And he had a very good season last year. How has he improved since last season?
"I have great aspirations of him improving. One thing about Relf is he has experienced success, which gives him some confidence. And any time you play with confidence that allows you to do a lot more things.

"He has a lot better grasp of what our offense is all about and he understands exactly what we are looking for offensively. The things he knows he knows really well. And we are going to expand those things a little bit more this year. The more he can grasp, the more we will do with him. We just need for him to continue to improve."

There is a battle for the backup quarterback position. How does it stand as of today?
"Coming out of spring Chris Relf, obviously, was first team. (Sophomore) Tyler Russell was second team and third team was (redshirt freshman) Dylan Favre. That's how we finished the spring and that is how we will go into fall camp.

"But it very close between Tyler and Dylan. I thought Tyler started off really well early in the spring but kind of faltered toward the end. I think Dylan was a little opposite of that. He started off with a lot of turnovers, then toward the end he got better.

"The issue with Dylan has been more taking care of the football. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. He's bordering on both of them. You want a kid to play with a lot of confidence but arrogance can get you trouble. Sometimes you think you can get the ball in the hole when you probably don't need to throw it. You may need to check it down to move the team. And that is where he is learning. In high school he was able to do that but the SEC is different, it's a tough league.

"Tyler has improved. I have been very impressed with him. He can really throw the football. His attributes are going to be more beneficial for him this year because we have more wide receivers. Our numbers were down at wide receiver the last couple of years. Now, we are starting to build the numbers through recruiting."

A fourth guy is true freshman Dak Prescott. What are your thoughts about him?
"Dak is still young and still learning. But he has a lot of ability."

Your depth as quarterback is pretty good right now, isn't it?
"We have recruited well for that position and we have developed them. Relf has done well for us. And he's played for two years. Then you will have Tyler Russell who will play for two years. Dylan Favre will play for two years. Then you will have Dak Prescott play for two years. They are spaced out really well.

"Another thing I think is so good about the quarterback position is the depth. If Chris isn't getting the job done, then you have Tyler who can come in. If Tyler isn't getting it done, then you can bring in Dylan. Or if one gets hurt, then you have another guy who you can bring in. I feel very comfortable with putting any of those three guys in a game.

"Another thing about the three quarterbacks is they are all different. Chris has really improved in the throwing game and he can obviously run the football. Tyler is a really, really good thrower who has gotten better running the football. And Dylan is a little bit of both of them. But he's still young so we don't really know exactly what he can do."

Coming Monday Part-2 - Wide Receivers

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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