After missing the final eight games of the 2011 season, speedy junior receiver Terrence Mitchell is ready to be the impact player the team needs him to be.
Mitchell entered the teams season opener against Tennessee-Chattanooga looking to prove he felt no lingering effects of the concussion that left him motionless on the field in front of the USF sideline on Sept. 24, 2011, in the fourth quarter of a blowout win over UTEP. He did just that, picking up 147 total yards and a touchdown.
It felt great to be back out there, he said. It was a long wait for the next season. I feel that everything that happened today was great. I loved the outcome.
Despite having gone almost a year between playing games, Mitchell did not take much time getting back into action. He scored the first receiving touchdown of his career, a 38-yard grab from a skinny post route halfway through the second quarter.
I just remember finding the ball in the air and telling myself Ive got to go get it, Mitchell said. It felt great to score in my first game back.
Along with his threat as a punt returner, which forced Moc punter Nick Pollard to send four punts out of bounds to avoid Mitchells explosive ability, the junior will be a bigger part of the passing game, which was evident in his first game back on the field. Senior quarterback B.J. Daniels said Mitchell brings a talent that not many others can provide.
I really trust Terrences speed, Daniels said. Hes one of those guys who can shift into three or four different gears.
Coach Skip Holtz said the return of Mitchell generated immediate results – results that will be more important as the season, and schedule difficulty, progresses.
It makes a huge difference, Holtz said. He had a couple good punt returns (Saturday). They even started just punting the ball away from him. But then as a wide receiver to be able to get the ball in his hands, I think hes got a chance to be an impact player for us this season, and we need him to be.