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Football Coach Jay Hopson Holds Weekly News Conference (Sept. 11)

Sept. 11, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss football coach Jay Hopson held his weekly news conference Monday at the Duff Athletic Center as the Golden Eagles get ready for their first road test this weekend at ULM.

The two teams play at Malone Stadium this Saturday, Sept. 16, in a 6 p.m., contest. The game can be seen on ESPN 3.

Here are some of things Hopson said during his news conference, recapping the Southern contest and previewing this week’s opponent:

Opening Statement:

"It was a good win on Saturday. It's certainly like every week because there are still things we need to get better on, but I thought we played hard. A good thing on defense is that we created some turnovers and made some plays there. Special teams was a big factor in the game and a big nice play by our punt return team there early that got momentum early. Offensively, Kwadra (Griggs) did some good things moving the ball in the first half, leading our offense. Allenzae (Staggers) made some plays. It was good to see guys like T-Rod (Daniels) make some plays. Jaylond Adams and some of those newcomers did a lot of good things. Again, we had a couple of mishaps and we have to clean that up. For the most part, the guys played hard and focused, but like anything, the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. We have get better from week two to week three."

On Kwadra Griggs listed at No. 1 at Quarterback on the depth chart:

"It's an ongoing battle, but after week one, he earned it and, through week two, he did a good job; so he'll start week three. I'm going to let the competition continue. Keon came in and had a nice throw to Jaylond (Adams). He went through a couple of series and did a good job, but we'll start off with Kwadra and go from there."  

On the play of the offensive line: 

"They did a really good job. It was good to see that second group get in there and get about a half. We got some guys in there that I was pleased with and who are going to be an outstanding group. A lot of those guys are freshmen and they did a really good job." 

On Ito Smith and Allenzae Stagger's success:

"Staggs had a beautiful catch that didn't count against Kentucky. Of course it was out of bounds, but that was a lay out. That was the only touch he got the first week so it was good to get him the ball. The good thing we have with Staggs, Quez (Watkins), Isaiah (Jones), Korey (Robertson) and Jaylond (Adams) and the list goes on even in the backfield with T-Rod (Daniels) making plays. It's not enough football sometimes. We're just going to have to spread it around, which is critical in football not being one-dimensional.” 

On Tez Parks’ return:

"I hope he's close. We're going to watch him week-to-week. That's something we're constantly evaluating every week. He will be back, when will just be on how he feels. I don't have a due date but he's getting better. It's just when he's ready."

On Kwadra's injury from camp and playing with the glove:
" He's doing good. He can throw it through a wall right now so we're not worried about that. He threw some great passes and we did a great job of protecting him and just didn't want him to get injured. He's proving he's ready to roll."

On true freshmen getting the opportunity to play:

"That's just something we'll have to do this season in playing the true freshmen - a reality. A lot of freshmen are now (in our) two-deep. We'll play those guys. I thought those guys on the line did a good job. Jaylond and Tyler Barnes did a really good job. You'll continue to see those guys play and play quite a bit."

On the rotation on the offensive line: 

"It was good. We have the One’s learning a couple different spots. We'll continue to do that. It was good to get those freshman in there behind them, too and playing and we have some pretty talented young guys."

On the defensive line:

"That position is a group that plays hard every week. They were physical up front. They're all playing about the same amount of plays. We have a nice rotation going. Up front they all played physical. I didn't see anybody out there who didn't play well. I'm pleased with those guys." 


"They do subtle things. They're a multiple team offensively. They put up some big plays against Memphis. They won the stat battle against Memphis. It was a hard-fought game. They give multiple looks. We have to be ready."

On Tarvarius Moore's leadership:

"He's a guy who has taken on that role. Our secondary is a close knit unit. They're football guys and are students of the game. Tarvarius and all those guys are leaders of our football team."

On the fumbles: 

"We want to clean that up. We got bumped. We bumped ourselves right there. Block assignments. Gaps. Those are the things you want to see get better week to week in a football game. You want to see that, I know you'll never get it completely, but as close to perfection as possible. That's our battle. We want to get better. There's plenty of room to get better from this week to week three and we want to do better." 

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