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Southern Miss Suffers Blowout Loss to No. 4 Florida State 66-13

Jackson Kennedy

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Southern Miss took its first loss of the season to the No. 4 ranked Florida State Seminoles on Saturday night, 66-13. As heavy underdogs, nothing went right from the jump for the Golden Eagles.

“Our kids played with passion. They played hard. You can’t play a game like that, when it turns like that, if you don’t believe in your brother and love your brother and university, Southern Miss head coach Will Hall said.

Florida State started with the ball to begin the game, drove eight plays for 76 yards, and scored the game’s first touchdown. Seminole quarterback Jordan Travis found Darion Williamson for a 10-yard touchdown to go up 7-0 early. Two drives later, the Seminole running back found a seam through the Golden Eagle offensive line and scored from 18 yards out.

Even with the success that Florida State was able to have on both of those drives, Southern Miss got FSU to a couple of fourth downs. However, the circus plays by Travis kept the drives alive.


“He made plays. He’s a great player. He’s an experienced player,” Hall said.

The Golden Eagles were able to put a drive together late in the first quarter, spilling into the second quarter. Quarterback Billy Wiles led the offense down the field in nine plays, covering 57 yards. Wiles almost found Avery White for what would have been a walk-in touchdown, but pressure by the Seminole’s defense caused an inerrant throw, and USM had to settle for 3. Andrew Stein put USM on the board with a 30-yard field goal in the beginning stages of the second quarter.



“We came over here and laid it on the line. We just didn’t play well, but we played hard. To be in the arena with a team like this you have got to play really well and really hard,” Hall said.

There are some positives to take away from tonight’s game, even with the lopsided score. In the first half, the cornerbacks were playing toe-to-toe with the five- and four-star receivers of Florida State. There were several pass breakups, and they held star receiver Keon Coleman to zero catches until late in the second half.

“They [the secondary] didn’t really get tested last week, but they did tonight. And man, did they show up. They made some plays tonight where they got the ball out, all four of them plus Markel,” Hall said. “I thought all four of them competed their tails off and did a great job of getting the ball out versus two dudes out there for them,”


It was 14-3 in the middle of the second quarter before FSU blew the doors open with 38 straight points. Among those points came a Wiles pick-six for the Seminole’s defense. That was the second interception by Wiles this season.

“I probably let it go a little too early, the guy jumped inside and made a good play. Probably should have moved on. That was on me. I just have to watch the tape and get better,” Wiles said when asked about the interception.

The bottom line is that the speed and the depth that FSU has is too much for Southern Miss to manage. This is also a Florida State team trying to compete and win National Championships and a talented roster.

The offense showed its bright moments, especially in the third quarter. Wiles led the offense on a 13-play, 89-yard drive in 05:40. The drive ended with Rodrigues Clark rushing for a 12-yard touchdown, his first as a Golden Eagle after transferring from Memphis.

“When 0 gets called, 0 is going to show up,” Clark said.

There are positives from tonight, but mainly a game USM will need to forget and move on to another tough matchup vs. Tulane.

Clark said they would erase what happened tonight “today.”



“We will come back on Monday to work on the corrections, and Tuesday we are back at practice to get all of this fixed before Tulane,” Clark said.

Tonight was no indication of how good Southern Miss is in the sun belt, but rather a glaring implication of the talent gap between teams competing for National Championships and teams not on that elite level in college football. Hall still believes his message and has never wavered from it.

“I think we have a good football team. We were not that team tonight,” Hall said.

They get a chance to turn this around next Saturday as they take on Tulane at the Rock at 3 p.m.

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