Here are some of the subjects that Coach Pat Hill discussed during his weekly press conference:
Special Teams: Hill started the discussion praising how the special teams unit performed on Saturday. Kicker Kevin Goessling nailed both of his attempts on Saturday against Utah State from 30 and 26 yards out. Andrew Shapiro had another impressive performance from his punter position booting three kicks for 158 yards averaging well over 52 yards a punt. Shapiro also landed two of the kicks inside the 20 with one inside the five-yard line.
Hill said he was real impressed with the kicking game especially with the hang time by both Goessling and Shapiro. Goessling had eight kickoffs, booting four out of the end zone for touchbacks while Shapiro only had one returnable punt that went for 15 yards.
The return game also stood out to Hill after Saturday’s game. The return game fielded a total of 10 kicks for 209 yards against the Aggies. Receiver Rashad Evans fielded a punt in stride and raced 50 yards down the field to inside the Aggie 10-yard line, Evans nearly broke free for a touchdown.
Hill said he had full confidence in whatever Evans does, especially in the return game.
Utah State: Hill said that the offense didn’t start as fast as they wanted to against the Aggies. For the second consecutive game, the ‘Dogs failed to convert a first down on their first possession after fumbling the ball away on a 4th-and-1 call. But Hill did say that once the offense got things going in the right direction, it was going to be hard to stop the offense. Hill did credit the offense for taking control of the game after mustering just 17 points in the first and then reeling off 24-straight points in the second half. The offense worked on a short field all game against the Aggies with an average starting position at the Aggie 40. Hill credited the special teams for being able to set up the offense with a short field.
Ole Miss: Hill said that the game against Ole Miss on Saturday is going to be a very tough matchup for the ‘Dogs. Hill scouted that Ole Miss has multiple athletes that can run and the Rebels are a very athletic football team. Hill praised the Rebels defensively. Time and time again Hill worked up how good of a team Ole Miss is this year saying that Ole Miss hasn’t been able to play at the level that they should be playing. Hill called the Rebels, “A very hungry football team.”
Personally, I believe Hill is just hyping up a Rebels team that is performing well below average, especially for an SEC team. I don’t know how Hill can describe this Ole Miss team as great defensive team when it gave up 49 points to Jacksonville State, an FCS team. Granted, Jacksonville State is 3-0, but it took two overtime games to get there. The Ole Miss defense gives up nearly 30 points a game. I find it hard that the ‘Dogs won’t be able to outscore the Rebels.
I guess we will see just how good this Ole Miss team is when they host Hill and the Bulldogs on Saturday. But my gut is telling me that Jeremiah Masoli is going to have his first breakout game as a Rebel against the ‘Dogs. Its bound to happen sometime this year, a dual-threat quarterback who runs for over 100 yards and puts a whipping on the ‘Dogs. Masoli just seems like the right player to do it, he’s also done it at a high level.