New season, familiar feeling as USM loses season-opener
Six turnovers, three sacks, eight tackles for loss and other factors heavily contributed to Southern Miss’s 13th consecutive loss at the hands of the Texas State Bobcats.
Disappointed fans shuffled out of the stadium, but a feeling not unlike last season’s prevented them from showing it. At the very least, Southern Miss proved that it has a strong quarterback in Allan Bridgford.
Bridgford went 28 of 53 for 377 yards and one touchdown. Though that is just 52.8% of his pass attempts, and despite having two interceptions, Bridgford was responsible for most of Southern Miss’s 400 total offensive yards.
USM’s defense seemed fairly strong as well, with four pass break-ups and 11 tackles for loss. The defense only allowed two touchdowns during Texas State’s 34:16 time of possession.
When the team returns to practice, head coach Todd Monken and his staff will need to stress ball security to the offense’s skills position players. Four of Southern Miss’s six turnovers were fumbles, and one of them resulted in a Bobcats touchdown.
Texas State’s stellar rush defense combined with the USM O-line’s inexperience to result in 23 yards total rushing for Southern Miss. Texas State sacked Bridgford three times and had eight tackles for loss. In addition, the Bobcats defense did an excellent job of hurrying Bridgford.
USM fans cannot be surprised by the loss. Texas State returned starters that were instrumental in last season’s victory over Houston, and the Bobcats’ head coach, Dennis Franchione, has been leading their football program for years.
All in all, Southern Miss will have to make the most of this game and view it as a test trial. USM held fast against Texas State, saw what they excelled in, learned what they need to work on and develop and will apply changes before next Saturday.