Southern Miss Football Coach Jay Hopson Holds Weekly News Conference (Nov. 13)
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss football coach Jay Hopson held his weekly news conference at the Duff Athletic Center Monday, recapping last Saturday's game victory at Rice as well as previewing this week's final home contest this week against Charlotte.
The Golden Eagles and 49ers play Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. CT. The game can be viewed on C-USA.tv as well as be heard on one of the affiliates of the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network.
Here are some of things Hopson said during his news conference:
"Just a good win. I was really proud of our offense. I thought they played lights out. Ito (Smith) and Tez (Parks) did a great job running the ball. Kwadra (Griggs) did a good job directing our offense. Korey (Robertson) continues to have good games. He made some big plays. It was great to see Tim Jones, a youngster, come in there early and make a big play with the touchdown. (Allenzae) Staggers made big catches. Our offensive line was the catalyst of it all and did a great job blocking and protecting. All around, great job offensively. Defensively, we started hot but after midway through the second quarter, it was probably our worst two quarters of the season. We didn't tackle as well as I would like in the second half. We let them stick around on third downs, kept them on the field and kept drives alive. It's something we'll correct and look at and get better. We know we have a big game against Charlotte. Have to be ready for another tough C-USA opponent."
On Korey Robertson after the catch:
"He's tough. He's had a lot of YACs (yards after the catch). He's really had a lot of yards after his catches. Korey is such a big, physical guy. He's a gamer. He comes to play every game every Saturday. Two of the last three weeks, he's been our player of the week. He was mentioned this week, too."
Offensive Player of The Game: Ito Smith
Defensive Player of The Game: Racheem Boothe
Special Teams Player of The Game: Parker Shaunfield
On Parker Shaunfield's Field Goal Distance Increasing:
"He got a hold of that one. It was 51 yards and it was still sailing. Parker has a strong leg and that's been a big plus down the stretch compared to last year. Last year, this time, we couldn't get an extra point through the upright. With Briggs and Parker healthy so far, knock on wood, those guys are kicking the ball well."
On the thought of Robertson's progression through the spring:
"He was the guy we were talking about in the spring and thought had a great camp. He asserted himself as a starter in the spring and I just think he's gotten better and better each week. He's having a heck of a year and we're going to need that to continue."
On Tim Jones:
"Tim is a young man that in mid to late August started coming on. I was like man this kid is going to be a special player. Tim has proved that. He's one of those freshman wideouts that's done well. He came in and was physically ready. He muscled up and has speed. He's a talented young man."
On a core group of young players and the direction of the offense:
"It's a good core group of youngsters, just have to keep developing. It's the journey of football going to work every day and getting better. Those young men have done an outstanding job this year. Any time you can get a group of young talented guys, its good news. The freshman become sophomores and they get better. I'm excited about them. We have to go out there and work hard and get better every day and take care of the little things. They're a young group of receivers that are going to be really good football players."
On Kwadra Griggs:
"He was spot on Saturday. The problem we had with Kwadra, when he broke his hand, is that he was in a full hand cast. Just catching the snap, he couldn't use his left, he could only use his right hand. He got the cast off Sunday, was 100 percent healthy and felt it was the right time to put him back in there and he did a good job Saturday."
On the response after Rice scoring on five straight possessions:
"That's big. I thought that was tremendous. Every time you answer, that says something. That was probably the thing I was most proud of. Every time that adversity struck, our offense came back and answered. We know we have to keep it going. We can't sit around and feel good about it. It's a new week and a new challenge and we need to get better."
On struggles defensively:
"We didn't tackle really well. You go back on a lot of those third and fourth downs and we just couldn't get them off the field. That's something we're usually pretty good at. That's something we'll work on this week and get better."
"We had a couple of them and there are a couple of them that I'm not happy about. At the end of the day, you're never happy about it but what I am happy about is they kept competing. We'll do our best to stop it but we just keep fighting and playing. They kept going until the clock hit zero. As a football coach, that's what I'm most proud of."
On Ito Smith:
"He did a great job. I thought he was spot on. I knew he was going to have a good week, you could just see it in his eyes this week. It takes a team. Up front offensively, they did a good job blocking. I thought Kwadra did a good job directing the offense. It's a team effort and Ito is such a humble kid. He's one of 10 players in FBS history to have 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his career. That just says it all. He's one of 10 players in the history of college football to achieve that, which just lets you know the type of football player you are. Better yet, Ito is a better person. He's the first one to give the offensive line credit, he'll give the janitor credit. He's not going to give himself credit. He's a special football player."
On Charlotte's offense:
"They mix it up. They're a multiple offense that is very balanced. We know what type of football team that is coming to town."
On senior day:
"Just a special day. Hopefully we have a big crowd to send these seniors out. They're a bunch of young men that have done a lot of tremendous things for Southern Miss and the football program. They're a special bunch of kids. It's a special day and I don't think they'll realize how special the day is, playing their last game in The Rock, but they will five to 10 years from now. I would love to a great Eagle Walk and when we make that turn around the corner to see a big crowd underneath M.M. Roberts supporting these guys because they've done a great job here. We just want to show our appreciation for everything they've done."
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