Not time to panic, Southern Miss
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 00:09
Southern Miss could not stop Nebraska from moving the ball, and the Golden Eagles could not provide much consistency on offense and the coaching staff, which, at times, made questionable decisions. The only bright spot for the Eagles on Saturday was special teams.
But what many people are overlooking is the fact that this is an entirely new Southern Miss football program. New coaching staff, new administration and new quarterback(s)- everything is new. We weren’t exactly playing Jackson State or Central Arkansas at home for the first game like the schools up north, either. It is not time to panic just yet.
Yes, Southern Miss gave up 632 yards of total offense, with 354 yards coming against our secondary, which is supposed to be the strongest part of the defense.
But few point out that Taylor Martinez has become one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the NCAA. Martinez is not new to his system either. He is now in his third year as a starter at Nebraska, where he has thrown for over 3,700 yards and ran for over 2,000 more in the past two years.
Southern Miss, on the other hand, has no proven quarterback, and it showed. After redshirt junior Chris Campbell started the game, the coaching staff substituted in Anthony Alford often. As the old saying goes, “If you have two starting quarterbacks, you do not have one.” This applied to the offense on Saturday. Campbell and Alford each had their bright spots, but without one playing 90-95% of the snaps, the offense will not find consistency. Once one guy gets the majority of reps at quarterback, the offense will iron out the kinks and begin moving the ball better.
Not to be taken lightly, this Nebraska team is a legitimate top-15 team. If they continue to play like this, they will contend for the Big Ten title and a spot in the Rose Bowl.
To put this loss in perspective, remember back to 2010 when Southern Miss went to Columbia, S.C. to play Spurrier and the Gamecocks and got handed a 41-13 defeat. While 2010 may have been a “disappointment” to some fans, Southern Miss fared pretty well the next season, winning 12 games and a conference championship.
This is Southern Miss. This is not Alabama, LSU, Oregon or USC. We are a good football school that has a rich history in the sport, but we are not known for contending for a national title year after year. What people need to realize is this: Every school has down years, every team has bad games, and just because your team loses the season opener, it is not time for you to want to fire the coaching staff.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are 12-win football teams.