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BYU football: Five questions with Jim McMahon

Published: Thursday, Sept. 3 2015 5:38 p.m. MDT

Jim McMahon and LaVell Edwards reunite at Riverside Country Club in Provo as part of BYU's quarterback week leading up to the football game against Washington. The event helps raise school funding for athletic endowment.     (Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Jim McMahon and LaVell Edwards reunite at Riverside Country Club in Provo as part of BYU's quarterback week leading up to the football game against Washington. The event helps raise school funding for athletic endowment. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Former Roy High and BYU quarterback Jim McMahon returned to Provo for the first time since 1998 to be part of the school's "Y Quarterback Weekend," which featured eight former Cougar All-American QBs. It marked the first time these eight QBs have all been together. Their goal was to raise $1 million to endow athletic scholarships. On Friday at Riverside golf course in Provo, McMahon answered questions from the media.

Q: You have 10 more credits to graduate from BYU. Are you going to make that happen?

A: "I'm trying. I've had three kids graduate before me. I've got one left in school and hopefully I'll get it done before he graduates."

Q: What's your motivation for wanting to get your degree?

A: "I promised my kids I would. That's my biggest motivation. They give me grief when they tell me about their grades. And they say, 'Well, you never graduated, Dad.' I say, 'Well, I wasn't paying for school, either.' It's different when you have to fork out the cash to go to school."

Q: Where does that 1980 Holiday Bowl win rank in your great football memories?

A: "That's up there. Anytime you can come back from a deficit like that and win a ball game, it's something special. We had a lot of great players on that team, not only on the offensive side of the ball, but on the defense, too. We had to come up with a big stop in that game — people forget."

Q: In 1978, you and Marc Wilson went through a year where you both shared the job. Do you think BYU can play two quarterbacks successfully this year?

A: "It's not fun for either quarterback. Marc wasn't happy and I know I wasn't happy. It's tough to do when you rely on two guys like that. You have to have a No. 1 and if something happens to him, then the other guy plays."

Q: What do you think about BYU going independent in football?

A: "It'll be better exposure for them, that's for sure, depending on who they schedule to play. You don't want to play teams that nobody's heard of. You have to play the big teams. I've heard they're playing Notre Dame and Texas. That's a good start. Those are two storied programs. If they get five or six of those games a year, it'll be good for them."

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