The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss holds spring game

Jackson Kennedy
Players cheered during the Southern Miss football spring game, holding high hopes for the next season.

Spring football game gives fans preview of upcoming season

Southern Miss football held its annual spring game on Saturday in front of about 450-500 fans at M.M. Roberts Stadium. The scrimmage consisted of 45-70 minutes of scrimmaging between the offense and defense, and the next 45 minutes were situational work with both squads.

“We got all of our situations in,” Southern Miss head coach Will Hall said. “Red-zone, third down, two-minute drill work, all of our quarterbacks were put in different situations, and I thought it was a lot of good. Every time the ball is snapped there are 22-players in their mind going against each other so you’re going to see some good and bad.”

Southern Miss football is trying to find an identity in the football program after an underwhelming 3-9 season under fourth-year coach Hall. Hall understands it’s to win, and that’s why he has gone out on the recruiting trail, put together the Sun Belt’s top class this season, and revamped his coaching staff.

Saturday’s scrimmage was the first time fans got to see how the 13-24 coach plans to turn his program around.

Spring games used to be an “offseason holiday,” as some called them, but they aren’t that way anymore; they are really just glorified practices. There was a lot to take away from the nearly two-hour event.

First, the quarterbacks shined. Southern Miss football is in the midst of a quarterback competition that is nothing short of fascinating. They have four guys all competing for the starting job, and there is little to no certainty about who will get it.

Florida State transfer Tate Rodemaker started with the first-team offense on the day and immediately drove the offense down the field but failed to score inside the red zone.

After Billy Wiles’s drive stalled, Ethan Crawford followed with the day’s first touchdown when he found Chandler Pittman wide-open over the middle of the field for a 50-yard touchdown. Then, it was MRA native star freshman John White’s turn. White followed Crawford’s touchdown drive with a touchdown drive of his own, capping it with a touchdown pass to Jack Jackson for six yards.

“The opening drive Tate took us right down the field, we should have scored,” Hall said. “I thought they were as sharp as they have ever been. John White really moved it and scored which was good to see. We move the ball from time to time and we didn’t, which defensively we are going to be a team that keeps it in front of us.”

The next scoring play of the day came from redshirt freshman Austin Gonzalez, who added another passing touchdown, finding Keyshawn Buckley for a six-yard score.

Golden Eagles fans got to get a good look at the quarterbacks and an appetizer of new offensive coordinator Chip Long’s scheme and new defensive coordinator Clay Bignell’s scheme.

The Golden Eagles ended the day with running situational drills with third-down plays and two-minute drills before wrapping up the day’s festivities. The Golden Eagles will have two more spring practices before wrapping up Spring Camp.

More than anything, Hall knows the time has come for the talking to stop and the winning to start.

“It’s time to win,” Hall said. “Point blank. And everybody within these walls knows that.”

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