Offense explodes as secondary sets in place

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Coach Hopson works with Louisville transfer Devontre Parnell on a secondary drill during practice on August 11.

Southern Miss practice session No. 6 is in the books and the offense had a field day towards the end of the session.

With the first and second teams rotating in and out on both sides of the ball, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson dialed up various crossing routes and deep routes that saw Tyre’oune Holmes and Korey Robertson catch touchdowns deep in single coverage.

“Today, I thought there was some good competition,” said coach Jay Hopson. “Again, there was some good coverage and Nick [Mullens] had some good throws at times. I thought there was good tempo, competition and good spirits.”

The offense may have won today, but the defense has had its fair share of battles on the gridiron.

“That’s the way summer camp is,” Hopson said. “Yesterday, the defense kind of won the day. Today, the offense won the day.”

Wil Freeman is seeing more and more time at the left tackle position with the first team. Freeman is looking more and more comfortable protecting Mullens’ blind side. Although Jacob Fleming is pushing for starting position, Freeman may be laying claim to that spot.

The defensive backfield appears to be solid, almost in concrete. The two corner spots are to be handled by juniors Cornell Armstrong and Trae Collins. The rover/nickel position is Picasso Nelson Jr.’s to lose. The safety spots are to be handled by seniors D’Nerius Antoine and Devonta Foster.

“Every day is a new day,” said secondary coach Dan Disch. “We got some guys pushing them. My goal going into the season is having as many guys as we can — we’ll roll ‘em.”

Disch is solid on those four guys and also pretty high on others in his backfield.

“We’re still sorting it out,” Disch said. “Overall, I like their attitude, they’re working hard. They’ve just got to continue to learn and pull together. Hopefully, we’ll be alright. That’s a tough spot back there.”

Southern Miss will continue to practice throughout the summer and the updates will keep coming as they produce.

Coach Dan Disch sets with his safety D’Nerius Antoine during a practice session on August 11.