Southern Miss wins first homecoming game since 2019, eyes second conference win on Saturday
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - The Southern Miss Golden Eagles won their first homecoming game since 2019 and their first-ever Sun Belt Conference game against the Arkansas State Red Wolves 20-19 Saturday night.
For three-quarters of the contest, the Golden Eagles were outplayed and left fans frustrated. However, Jackson native and former Jackson Prep quarterback Jake Lange was able to rally his squad together and get a late win, no matter how ugly.
“Big win for us this past weekend,” said Southern Miss Head Coach Will Hall during his press conference Monday. “We played a much improved Arkansas State team that could be 5-2 right now. We were behind most of the game but were able to win the game. It was a good win moving in the right direction for us. It was a gritty, ugly, tough win for us which is kind of what we are right now. We got [another] tough opponent this week against Texas State.”
Southern Miss’ defense, widely known as the ”Nasty Bunch,” was exceptional against the Red Wolves and has been all year, despite not creating a turnover this past Saturday.
With the Texas State Bobcats being their next opponent and matching up against a quarterback who has thrown at least one interception in five of the Bobcats’ seven games, the turnover battle will be a crucial decider in the upcoming contest and something the Nasty Bunch will have their eyes all over.
“I hope [Texas State’s quarterback] throws it to us a bunch. I’ll take it,” Coach Hall said. “They’ve been doing a great job in the turnover takeaway battle the last two weeks. But we gotta do a better job of not turning it over on offense.”
With Lange coming into the game in relief of starting Southern Miss quarterback Zach Wiclke in the second half of their last game, the Golden Eagles have another question mark looming over the quarterback situation heading into preparation for the Texas State game.
“I don’t know. I will keep that between me right now,” Coach Hall said addressing a possible quarterback competition in practice this week. “We’ll get to practice tomorrow and we’re still thinking through what gives us the best opportunity to win this game and to continue to grow our program.”
Southern Miss will travel to San Maros, Texas to take on the Bobcats on Saturday, October 22, in search of their second consecutive conference win. Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. in Bobcat Stadium. The game will be aired on ESPN Plus.
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