It's a coach's job to keep players hungry and motivated, and Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys doesn't seem ready to concede anything with middle linebacker Cody Poock just yet.
Poock appeared to win the starting middle linebacker job over Everett Williams on Sept. 1, when the Gophers released their depth chart for the TCU game. But knowing the Horned Frogs would come out in those four-receiver sets, the Gophers immediately started in their nickel defense.
The Gophers started Jack Lynn, De'Vondre Campbell and true freshman Julian Huff at linebacker, with Huff used primarily in a pass-rushing role. Poock didn't start, though he did come in to make seven tackles, including a tackle for a loss on a third-down carry by TCU running back Shaun Nixon. Williams, who started one game in place of Damien Wilson last season, spent this game on the bench.
Poock is a sophomore transfer from Iowa Western Community College who redshirted last year after tearing an ACL in his knee during spring practice. Coach Jerry Kill praised Poock for the instincts he showed against TCU, but Claeys was more reserved Tuesday.
Asked about the decision to start Poock over Williams, Claeys said, "Well, the truth be known, that decision was never made because we never played one snap of base defense. It was all nickel or dollar. Really, that decision will be made this week because there will be some two-back stuff and that [at Colorado State]."