Quarterback battle tighter than expected
As mentioned numerous times throughout this football preview, the looming quarterback situa- tion presents some uncertainty on offense for Southern Miss. Head Coach Jay Hopson reiterated this week the possibility of a starting quarterback not being announced until late Friday or gameday itself against Kentucky. During media day earlier this month, Hopson jokingly alluded to having a Friday night coin flip to decide who will lead the Goldens Eagles’ first offensive drive this season and that mindset remains the same.
Redshirt junior Kwadra Griggs and sophomore Keon Howard have seemed to be in a two-man race for the starting job throughout the entirety of fall camp; however, freshman Marcelo Rodriguez has raised questions concerning his involvement in this battle.
Hopson admitted it is likely we will see both Griggs and Howard in action on Saturday regardless of who is named the starter, but offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson did not rule out the possibility of Rodriguez joining the mix.
“We played three [quarterbacks] last year,” Dawson said. “Put it this way, he [Rodriguez] is going to be ready.”
Dawson went on to explain the offense does not view Rodriguez as a freshman. “He’s proved over the course of camp that he can play; the kid is talented,” Dawson elaborated. “Is he talented enough to play in games right now? In a perfect world, I would hope to not find out.”
It is fair to say the idea of foreseeing three quarterbacks play against Kentucky is not promising. Even so, it is clear that they all will be primed entering M.M. Roberts Stadium prepared to take the helm.