With Michael Reed in the lineup, he provides Hall with a consistent and experienced option on the outside, and the two have built great timing and symmetry over the years. While teams usually tend to focus on Austin Collie and Dennis Pitta, Reed certainly has the goods to make opposing defenses pay for not accounting for him.
"Especially on third down is where we miss Mike the most," said Hall. "A lot of times he finds himself in one-on-one coverage as teams focus on Dennis and Austin during critical third-down situations, and I know that I can go to him and he'll make a play, so that's something we miss a lot as an offense."
Hall will have three main options this coming game to help overcome the loss of Reed: Bryce Mahuika, Luke Ashworth and O'Neill Chambers. While Mahuika is a steady veteran who knows the offense well, Ashworth and Chambers have shown a lot of potential to fill the void left by Reed, if only for one more game.
"It's time for guys to step up," said Hall regarding Reed's replacements. "Bryce is an experienced guy, and guys like Luke Ashworth and O'Neill Chambers are certainly guys who I've worked more with this past week, and they have a chance to really help us this next game."
The loss of Spencer Hafoka for at least another game really puts an added onus on Mahuika, Ashworth and Chambers to make plays. Should Collie and Pitta be taken away from Hall as ready options during critical points of the ball game, Hall is confident that he'll be able to go elsewhere with the football to make the necessary plays.
"I've liked what I've seen from guys like Luke and O'Neill this week," said Hall. "Bryce has also stepped up, and no, I don't have the same level of timing and confidence with them as I do with Austin and Dennis, but they're my teammates and I trust them. That's what you have to do to be successful. Everyone needs to have complete trust in one another to get the job done."
Reed is scheduled to return for the New Mexico game, and the offense will be anxiously awaiting his return. According to Coach Mendenhall, Reed is ahead of schedule, as are a couple of other players who could be back in time for the game against TCU.
"Terrance Hooks and Grant Nelson are ahead of schedule," said Mendenhall. "There is a good chance that Terrance Hooks and Grant Nelson will be back for the game against TCU, which is an added bonus that we didn't think we'd get."