HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Mid-April is in full swing for the Golden Eagle football team, and everyone on the field is aware. The Black and Gold Spring Game is set for 12 p.m. on Saturday, and Tuesday's practice marked the second-to-last full practice till then.
Head Coach Jay Hopson
On coming back from the holiday break
"We looked like we ate a little too much Easter candy today. It wasn't the best day and we looked a little sloppy. We got to tune back in after the long holiday. They better focus back in. We just have to practice hard and get better executing for Thursday."
On what the end of spring practice really means
"We're still installing and working fundamentals and techniques all the way through. We aren't just stopping for the Black and Gold Game. We are going all the way through. Friday will be the Black and Gold split. I hope a lot of people come out. It's gonna be a fun game and people will wonder if it's gonna be a scrimmage or a game, and it's gonna be a game. Jeff Bower and Bobby Collins will be out there coaching each team."
On how to handle mentalities at end of practice period
"I always talk to them as men. That's the journey. We just go out every day ready to execute. You keep getting better fundamentally. That's the execution and what spring is all about. There's some fun competitions that will still go till August too, so we will see."
Sophomore quarterback Keon Howard
On today's practice
"We got better today offensively and defensively. There are still a few things to get better at with some trial-and-error, but you go back to the drawing board and look at it."
On what part of his game he is concentrating on the most
Just the pace of the game. The experience I had those last three games last year really helped me learning how to game plan, especially how to prepare my mind off the field for whenever I do face adversity. I just need to put myself in the best situation to help my team to its best chance to win."
On how much he looks back on lessons learned under former QB Nick Mullens
"I think about that daily. I always put myself in his shoes. He was a blue-collar guy who busted his tail and put forth everything he had. He always told me to make sure I did extra and more than the next guy. You just want your teammates to be able to say you gave everything you had."