HATTIESBURG, MS (WJTV) – Saturday’s game with UTSA is a crucial conference matchup for Southern Miss. Defensively, the Golden Eagles have a lot to fix. They gave up a season-high 30 points last week to North Texas. But to be successful against UTSA, USM says they need to clean things up.
“We regrouped out of that game man,” said USM senior linebacker Sherrod Ruff. “We’re just coming back and trying to be stronger man. We watched a lot of film; there’s a bunch of mistakes we made, you know? Just little simple things we had to do to correct on the back-end and in the linebacker area. But we just get that fixed man and we’ll just come back this game even stronger.”
But what are these simple things they need to correct?
“It’s simple man, coach Hop tells us every week we got to execute,” explains sophomore defensive lineman Jacques Turner. “The team that executes is going to win the game so on defense we got to execute. It’s simple things like missing tackles and, you know, missing assignments and stuff. Most of the touchdowns [last week were] on busted assignments so we got to focus on executing.”
One thing Southern Miss has struggled with in 2018 is containing mobile quarterbacks like ULM’s Caleb Evans and North Texas’ Mason Fine.
And they face another one this week in UTSA’s Cordale Grundy.
“Now obviously like always we got to stop the run, but the quarterback, he can really run the football so that’s another added dimension to stopping their offense,” said offensive coordinator Tim Billings.
Southern Miss currently sits a game behind UTSA in the Conference USA West division standings, which essentially makes this an elimination game for each team.