[Premium Article] After being moved over to DOG safety from cornerback, senior Richard Ball performed well against Oregon, allowing their outstanding receiver 2 receptions for 2 yards. Gene's Page caught up with Richard after Wednesday's practice."> [Premium Article] After being moved over to DOG safety from cornerback, senior Richard Ball performed well against Oregon, allowing their outstanding receiver 2 receptions for 2 yards. Gene's Page caught up with Richard after Wednesday's practice.">

DS Richard Ball Has Good First Game

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/football/2003/ballr.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> [Premium Article] After being moved over to DOG safety from cornerback, senior Richard Ball performed well against Oregon, allowing their outstanding receiver 2 receptions for 2 yards. Gene's Page caught up with Richard after Wednesday's practice.

When did you know you were going to be playing DOG safety for this game?
"A week and a half before the game."

Did you feel pretty comfortable at DOG safety?
"Yes sir. I'm still adjusting to it, but it is fun. You get a lot of contact. Coverage-wise, it gives me more chances to show the scouts that I can come up and be physical and also cover."

Didn't you go against their top receiver, Keenan Howry, most of the game?
"Yes sir."

Talk about covering him.
"From watching a lot of film, SEC receivers run a lot of stem routes. They will stem you and try and get you head up. (Oregon's) receivers ran straight at you, so it made it easier to cover them. It wasn't too much that he did that made me get out of position. We just back-peddled and read them."

Coach Hallman evaluates you guys. Did he tell you that you had a good game?
"Coach Curley is hard-nosed, but he found some positives in my play. He wants me to get out there and learn more. He likes my effort and the way that I listen and apply it to the game."

Since you have now played a full game at DOG safety and played well, has your confidence shot up, especially since you went up against a great receiver?
"Yeah, it has. Last year was a hard year for me. Coming into this year, I have gotten more focused, because I know this year is my last."

How different was it to play DOG safety compared to cornerback, the position you played last season?
"It requires a lot more sitting and reading. I think that is good for me because I am very quick off the ball and can read the ball well. I am real comfortable playing DOG safety compared to cornerback."

With you and Korey Banks on one side of the secondary, you guys can become a dominating team over there. Oregon couldn't do much against you or him.
"Korey is a good corner. We both talk. That helps. We are both on the same page. We have a little chemistry going on. I know what he is doing and he knows what I am doing. We can do a lot of disguising because of that."

What part of your game do you feel you need to improve on at DOG safety?
"I think I need to improve on reading the run better, because I am used to covering and back-peddling. I need to sit and read more and then come up. I need to push down the angles to help my safety, then to help people as the receivers come across. Other than that, I feel I am doing pretty good."


Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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