Dixie State senior starting quarterback Griff Robles has been on a roll lately with the Red Storm, Utah's only Division II football program. Last week, he threw for 319 yards and five touchdowns while also leading his team in rushing with 75 yards on 11 carries in DSU's 42-35 win over Simon Fraser in British Columbia. A trip to Canada is just one of the interesting benefits of playing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) for the former University of Utah quarterback/line backer. The Red Storm (4-5) have won four of their last six going into Saturday's game against Azusa Pacific. This week, the Deseret News' Aaron Morton caught up with Robles via email.
What's this season been like for you?
It’s had ups and downs. We have had some close games that we have not been able to pull out, which have been heartbreaking. At this point, our goal of winning a conference championship is out of reach. On the other side, there is a lot of accomplishment — some things that this program has never accomplished before. It’s been fun offensively moving the ball against everyone we have played. We have had some great games.
What has been driving the team's recent success?
I think everyone is battling for the senior guys, that group of guys that have been around for a few years and put in a lot of time. I think their leadership is driving everyone emotionally right now to work hard and give everything they have got.
What's it like being a father who happens to be an NCAA football quarterback?
(Laughing) It’s challenging. Love is spelled T-I-M-E and it’s hard to balance time between school, kids, football, wife and work even. It’s a grind and a battle. Sometimes, spending time with kids means being up later to finish homework and such. But it’s worth it.
How does it help you to have the perspective of a linebacker when you play QB?
It helps a little bit. I understand their responsibilities a lot more and I am able to get in their heads a little because I know what to expect in their actions both in the run game and the pass game.
What's it like playing in the GNAC? What's your favorite road trip?Comment on this story
Playing in the GNAC is tough. The competition plays good football, it really is. There are some great players in the GNAC. There are long trips both on the bus and flying, so we are all over this side of the country. Playing everyone twice is a new deal, and it is challenging. Playing the second time, teams pick up on certain things you are doing. You have to change things up. It’s more difficult on the coaching because you have to make big changes in the second half of the season. My favorite place to play is at Humboldt State. The venue is beautiful and the crowd is great. It’s been my favorite place to play period in my whole collegiate career.
How close are you to graduation? What are your future plans?
I graduate this fall. At that point, I will just look for opportunities to work. Part of me really wants to pursue an MBA, so I will look into that as well. As that time gets closer, I will have more time to make that decision.