5 things we learned from Virginia victory
Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 15:09
The 2011 football season is a quarter of the way completed, and Saturday's 30-24 victory for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles over the Virginia Cavaliers has given USM a 3-1 record for the first four games. Here are five things we've learned so far.
1. New defense makes everyone a ball hawk. Not only has the defensive change reenergized the unit, it has every player on defense in the right place at the right time. The Nasty Bunch has registered eight interceptions already this season, and linebacker Korey Williams leads the team with three of them. As a unit, they have been giving up 93 yards on the ground per game and rank 32rd nationally in total defense, allowing 320 yards per outing.
2. It's always nice to have a senior quarterback. Senior quarterback Austin Davis was named the C-USA player of the week after his 27 completions out of 41 attempts for 313 yards with three scoring tosses against the Cavaliers. For the year, Davis is just shy of 1,000 yards passing and has already thrown seven touchdowns. Davis has been able to spread the ball around to multiple receivers to keep defenses on their toes.
3. Offensive line is improving. After a rough outing against Marshall, the big boys on the line have stepped up. Davis has had plenty of time to throw, but the key of the season will rely on the run game. The passing game has opened up the running game, but the line will need to consistently open holes for the talented running backs.
4. The Hrapmann kick and run works. Kicker Danny Hrapmann has been clutch on his field goals by hitting eight of 12 attempts, but his biggest moment was his performance in pulling off a trick play in the second quarter of Saturday's game. With his feet firmly set in the middle of the endzone, Hrapmann took the snap and ran for 31 yards to get USM a clutch first down to grab the momentum away from Virginia.
5. The "Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime," legacy has been kept intact. With Saturday's victory, Coach Larry Fedora has kept alive the USM reputation as being BCS Conference slayers. In his four years, Fedora has won three games against schools from the automatic qualifying conferences, including last year's victory over Kansas and a previous victory over Virginia in 2009.
The Golden Eagles will be back in action this Saturday in the annual Blackout game against Rice with a 6:30 p.m. kick-off.
Coach Fedora's press conference: Monday, September 26th