Photo by Makayla Puckett
“Man we are rolling,” quarterback Jack Abraham told center Trace Clopton between snaps at Troy. The Golden Eagles’ ability to maintain momentum earned the squad a 47-42 win over the Trojans. Gearing up for number two Alabama, Southern Miss is focused on fixing previous mistakes, however, there are some key takeaways going into week four.
In week three’s game at Troy, Abraham had a record breaking performance with 463 passing yards and 17 consecutive passes. This was Abraham’s fourth game to pass over 300 yards and the first time a Southern Miss quarterback has completed more than 15 consecutive passes. His performance at Troy earned him a spot on the Manning Award Stars of the Week and a spot on Davey O’Brien Great 8 List for the week. Abraham has completed at total of 990 yards so far in the 2019 season giving him a 71.1% completion rate.
“He’s a guy that’s just maturing and getting better and better. He’s a student of the game. Jack eats and sleeps football. Hopefully, he’ll continue on his progression, and he’ll get better every game.” Head Coach Jay Hopson said.
The ability of Abraham to quickly release the ball and read the field gives him an edge as well as the ability to lead his offense.
“There are things that coach Faulkner has talked to him [Abraham] to look at so there’s times where he looks at different things according to his reads or something and he will override me on stuff like that,” Clopton said. “We are constantly communicating and trying to handle it together.”
For the second time this season Jaylond Adams was named the Conference USA special teams player of the week. Adams’ 89-yard kickoff return for the first play of the season put him, and Southern Miss, on the map, however, a fourth quarter 100-yard kickoff return against Troy kept them there. Over the first three weeks Adams has accumulated 237-yards from kick returns resulting in two touchdowns as well as 257 receiving yards with one touchdown and 100-yards from punt returns with one touchdown.
The much anticipated return of Quez Watkins to the Golden Eagle squad proved to be beneficial with his 209 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Trojans. Watkins joined Adams in C-USA’s honors when he was named offensive player of the week for week three.
“I don’t think [there has been a better tandem since I’ve been here]. Quez and Jaylond had great games, but there are five or six guys out there are dangerous guys. We might have seven,” Hopson said. “All those guys have the athleticism, the speed times, and everything else to prove it to me. Again, we’ve got guys that we can spread the ball around to. That’s always a fun thing and makes you a better offense.”
Offensive Coordinator Buster Faulkner considers Adams and Watkins a dynamic duo for his squad, however, also sees potential in Jordan Mitchell and Tim Jones.
“Those two guys are so valuable to what we do just because it allows the moving parts and us to be able to get those guys the ball,” Faulkner said. “Number one their perimeter blocking was great the other night. Those two guys obviously have a skill set that a lot of guys don’t.”
Mitchell had one touchdown at Troy which was a 51-yard pass from Neil McLaurin as part of a trick play. Hopson said the play was called based on the situation, however, is aware of the wide range of skills McLaurin brings to the field. For the season Mitchell leads the wide receivers with 295 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Jones has a total of 152 receiving yards for the season.