USFNation Q&A: Bulls WR Jessie Hester Jr.

The Bulls went into Rutgers and had their first taste of defeat since last season. We got a chance to talk with USF receiver Jessie Hester Jr. and got his thoughts on the Rutgers game, what the receiving core needs to do, the upcoming game at UCONN and more. Only on Get it First, Get it Fast!

Looking back at the Rutgers' game, is there anything that you guys could have done differently after watching film?

"No, not really because I felt everybody played as hard as they possibly could and that's all you can really ask for."


You've gotten a lot of passes come your way the last couple of weeks, do you like the added pressure of being counted on down the field?

"It feels nice but when your number is called, you have to find a way to step up. There are a lot of players who have to step up and have stepped up."


With TJ going down, the coaching staff is going to be counting on you and the other receivers to step up. How do you feel about stepping up to the challenge?

"That's a challenge I'm willing to take. We have a lot of other good receivers, TJ is a great receiver and I honestly think [Dontavia] Bogan has done a great job and is a talented player. I think everybody is going to step up not just Amarri [Jackson] or Bogan but Marcus [Edwards], Courtney [Denson], [Carlton] Mitchell and Ed [Alcin] will all step up and do a lot of big things. As a receiver group when one of our brothers goes down we have to pick it up and try to keep it going."


Besides Amarri you guys are a young receiving corps, how do you feel about growing together along with Matt Grothe?

"I think it's great; you have to have a good chemistry with the quarterback. With me and Grothe being around for a while only positive things can come out of this situation."


What are your feelings about receiving that unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after your touchdown catch at Rutgers?

"I got a flag for "shushing" the crowd. After he threw the flag, I knew I was going to be in the doghouse for the rest of the game. I went and apologized to Coach Leavitt and the team. It was a bonehead play and I'll never do it again."


Do you think the receivers can do a little more to help Matt out because he was sacked five times in the second half?

"I'm not really sure what we can do. We can try to get open faster if that's what you're trying to imply [laughs]. "


What do you think about the pass interference call on Amarri?

"I think that was totally bogus but It's in the past and you can't go back and fix that."


What do you think about the crowd at Rutgers?

"It was pretty funny and they try to get in your head a little bit. I don't really pay attention to it but it was a different atmosphere. The crowd noise wasn't that bad but once you get on the sideline they said a couple of things but you can block that out. It's not a big deal."


Earlier in the game it seemed like you had control of the game but then you lost it, was there any point of the game that you thought you would lose?

"No, we're taught to play all the way to the end of the game. You have to play through the ups and downs, there are going to be good times and bad times. It never went through my head that we were going to lose. We've been down before and we know how to play from behind."


Not that you need to be humbled, but do you think this loss is going to help refocus for the end of the season?

"I'm pretty sure it will but I never felt like anybody on the team was over confident. I think we had a plan to go in there and our goal was to win. That didn't happen but I don't think it was because of our egos."


If you had to lose one game, do you think that it's better to lose earlier so you have a chance to rebound?

"Yeah, the goal was not to lose at all, but now that we have one loss, we cannot lose any more games. If we want to win the Big East, we have to win out. There is no way we can win the Big East with two losses."


What concerns you the most about Connecticut's defense?

"To be honest, I haven't watched [film on] them yet but I heard they have a really good defense. One thing that may not worry us but has us concerned is that they are never out of place. They mix up their coverage and their always where they're supposed to be. It will be a big challenge for all of our wide receivers."


Two years ago at UConn, with the snow and ice on the field, do you think that it makes you better that there won't be anything like that this time around?

"Not really, I haven't thought about all that yet. Some people may say that the cold was a factor for us in 2005 but I don't think that was the case. Don't get me wrong, it was cold but it wasn't like something we couldn't play in. If you want to win; these are the conditions that you have to play in. We had the right equipment to keep us warm so that wasn't an issue."


It's said every week but is this the biggest game of the year coming up for you guys?

"Yes, it is because we play like we have a one game season. We really emphasize one game at a time, but for this week on Saturday, this is the biggest game of the season for us."

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