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Quotes: Southern Miss vs. Charlotte

Nov. 18, 2017

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Postgame Quotes
Southern Miss 66, Charlotte 21
Nov. 18, 2017

Head coach Jay Hopson

Opening statement
“I thought it was a good win. I thought offensive and defensively, we put together a pretty good game. From start to finish, probably our best game of the season. We certainly have gotten stronger as the season has gone on, and that's a good thing. Our challenge now is to finish it out. We have a tough game next week, but our guys are playing well.”

On defensive back Kelsey Douglas’ big performance on Senior Day
“He finished it right at The Rock. What better script could you have as a defensive back with two interceptions for touchdowns. Kelsey is just such a great kid, hard worker. He's that guy who gives you everything he's got. He's been a tremendous player for us, and I'm just proud of him. He gave us two big plays that got us going."

On running back Ito Smith’s Senior Day performance
"He showed some extra gear on that sideline (80-yard) run. He went into super-charge when that guy was about to get him. He's just a special player. I had a feeling those seniors were really focused and ready to go today, and they proved it. They made their last game at The Rock a special one. I thought the bunch as a whole played lights-out. Ito does what Ito does and had a great game."

On the defensive performance
"I thought the d-line, linebackers and secondary played much better. I thought we tackled pretty well out there. It was a good game defensively. Not to mention, they scored 14 points for us and kept giving the offense the ball back early with opportunities to go score. I know they gave up 21, but they did score 14."

On the grind of November
"We just know in November, at the end of the season, we've got another tough conference opponent and will need another great week of preparation. Today was a big game for that seventh win and a winning season, but this football team really enjoys playing together and is a football team that will hopefully have a few more games to play. I think they're excited about the opportunity.”


Senior defensive back Kelsey Douglas

On special way to go out on Senior Day:
"Yeah, I was just trying to end my last game in The Rock on a good note, with a bang. It's been a fun five years and that definitely was a great way to play my last game in The Rock."

On knowing if he could score right away after the interceptions:
"The first one I kind of caught it and thought I'll just follow the convoy to the endzone and those guys will just lead me the way. The second one I caught it and I saw nothing but green grass. I kind of new on the second one."

On whether last year's Charlotte game was discussed:
"We definitely did. We just wanted to get that taste out of our mouth from last year. Last year the came down here and just put it on us. This year we wanted to make sure we didn't make the same mistakes we made last year. We knew what they were going to try and do. We had to go out there and execute the game plan to make sure we had a good ending for the seniors in The Rock."

On both interceptions:
The first one was all Tarvarius Moore. Like coach said, I was just getting to the ball. I saw T Moore tip it and it was just floating in the air and I just jumped in the air and snatched it. I just got up field and saw green grass and open field with all my teammates blocking so I kind of just followed them into the endzone. The second one is all credit to the pass rush and defensive line getting the pressure. The quarterback got hit on the throw and it fell into my hands. I guess I was just in the right place at the right time."

On better performance than last week:
"I mean last week, we played bad of course. It was just tackling that was the problem last week. Last week, as far as scheme wise, everybody was doing the right scheme, we just tackled very poorly. This week, the emphasis was tackling and wrapping up. We got the guy on the ground and that was the main key.I think we did a great job of that tonight."


Redshirt-junior quarterback Kwadra Griggs

On it being the most complete game of the season:
"I think it was. We did a great job of running the ball today. Defense did a great job of keeping them out of the endzone."

On performance since coming back from injury:
"The guys always have my back. Whenever I make a mistake they always have my back. I try and have their back and we come together and move the offense together."

On defense scoring:
"Kelsey Douglas is a hard worker. He comes to practice every day with energy and practices hard. I'm not shocked that he did it. He's an incredible player and I hope to see him in the NFL one day."

On Ito Smith’s performance:
"Ito's Ito. Too much can be said about Ito Smith. Ito does what Ito does. His 80-yard run was good."

On Ito Smith’s speed:
"That's the fastest running back I've ever had on my team. Ever."

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