Hover is healthy

After missing SMU's last two games against Houston and Rice with mono, starting kicker Chase Hover will be ready to kick against Pitt in Saturday's Compass Bowl.

One of SMU's biggest problems in its last two games of the regular season was the kicking game.

The Mustangs starter Chase Hover, who turned out to be a crucial walk-on, got mono a few days before the Houston game and was declared out for the season.

Before he got sick, Hover made eight of 10 field goals and 34 of 36 PATs. In his two-game absence, SMU suffered kicking game woes as backups Mike Loftus and Brad Namdar combined to miss four field goals and a PAT.

In the Rice game, Namdar missed a 23-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter after Richard Crawford gave the offense prime field position after returning a an interception to Rice's 11-yard-line. The kick would have put SMU up 17-7.

Loftus missed an extra point after running back Rishaad Wimbley's 39-yard touchdown run to put the Mustangs up 27-17 in the fourth quarter. That miss was almost the difference-maker had the Owls converted on a fourth down later in the quarter.

June Jones admitted after the Rice game that the kicking game was "struggling." But now Hover is healthy hopefully SMU won't have to worry about that aspect of the game against Pitt.

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