The University of Alabama – Birmingham Blazers (6-2, 3-1 C-USA) visited the Golden Eagles (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) Nov. 9. The Golden Eagles defeated the Blazers 37-2.
The game started off slow until a first quarter interception by Golden Eagles by defensive back Shannon Showers off of UAB’s quarterback Dylan Hopkins. The interception immediately shifted momentum to the Golden Eagles favor, leading to a 6-yard run up the middle by Kevin Perkins for the first points of the game. Southern Miss took the lead and never let it go.
After a field goal by Southern Miss kicker Andrew Stein, the lead was brought to 10-0 followed by a touchdown by defensive back DQ Thomas who picked off Hopkins and returned it 55-yards to the end zone. A couple more field goals and two Jack Abraham touchdown passes–one to Quez Watkins and another to Tim Jones– rounded out Southern Miss’s scoring for the night.
A safety in the second quarter was all of the points UAB could muster up against a Southern Miss defense that was firing on all cylinders.
“We knew [after the first quarter] they could not move the ball on us,” defensive lineman Jacques Turner said. It showed through as the defense limited UAB’s offense to 173 total yards.
Last time these two teams met, the game ended in overtime and UAB walked it off. Many of the players and coaches still remember this game and used it as motivation for this week’s game.
“Last year hurt, and we brought that emotion with us today,” defensive back DQ Thomas said.
Head coach Jay Hopson recalled the final play of last year’s game and how tough it was to swallow.
“It was one of those games that you lay in bed and think about for the rest of your life,” Hopson said.
This game was just as influential on the rest of the Golden Eagles’ season as last year was.
Southern Miss is now bowl eligible with the chance to increase their win count to secure a bowl bid instead of getting booted out like last year. The Golden Eagles will travel to the University of Texas – San Antonio and face the UTSA Roadrunners (4-5, 3-2 CUSA).