The Southern Miss football coaches met their local media on Monday to talk about Saturday’s game at Kentucky. Included was USM offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who was let ago after one season as Kentucky’s offensive coordinator last year.
Here are Dawson’s comments?
Question: When you start gameplanning or Kentucky, you know them pretty well. What unique challenges do you expect from them in an opening game?
Dawson: “They’re back end is long and athletic, so it’s going to pose a challenge that’s for sure coverage-wise. I mean as far as nationally, they’re ranked pretty high from what I read the other day. Those guys are long. They recruited well on the back end. They do a good job coaching those guys up on the back end. They do multiple things with them. The back end is going to be tough.”
Question: Rest of Kentucky’s defense?
Dawson: “I think they’re much like everybody else. They’re not going to sit here and change their whole defensive scheme because of the first game and I have a little bit of knowledge about them and they have a little bit of knowledge about me. It goes both ways. Ultimately, both teams have to go out there. I promise you I think on both sides there’s enough question marks. So ultimately, like Coach (Hopson) says, the team that executes the best is going to win. So hopefully our question marks play better than theirs.”
They do a good job coaching those guys up on the back end. They do multiple things with them. The back end is going to be tough.
USM offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson on UK’s secondary
Question: Kentucky hasn’t had the success of an Alabama or a Florida, but is still an SEC challenge?
Dawson: “No doubt.”
Question: What’s it going to be like going back there, just in a different color?
Dawson: “Oh, it’s fine. It’s just another game to me. I mean I treat them all the same.”
Question: What about new receivers Isaiah Jones and Allenzae Staggers?
Dawson: “I think both of those guys have made plays over the course of camp. Dependability is as important as ability. You have to have guys who go out there and do the right things over and over again. Those two guys have been consistent, consistently making plays, consistently doing the right thing. Obviously those guys who are dependable, you’re going to rely on heavily when Saturday gets here.”