Jaylond Adams made sure the opening game of the 2019 season for Southern Miss started with a resounding bang. Adams returned the opening kickoff 89-yards for the score, giving the Golden Eagles a 7-0 lead after a successful PAT. He also capped off Southern Miss’ night, returning a punt 80-yards to give the Golden Eagles their final touchdown of the night and ultimately the 38-10 victory.
“Jaylond had a great game, but he's also wise enough to know those guys on the front line -- on that kick return and punt return -- they're the guys that set him free. I think we have an exceptional bunch of guys those units. We challenged those guys this morning and I think they answered the bell," said head coach Jay Hopson.
Defensively, Southern Miss held Alcorn State to 219 total yards on the night. DQ Thomas recorded the first interception of his Southern Miss career, while Racheem Boothe notched the first forced fumble of the season for Southern Miss. Boothe’s forced fumble led to a fumble recovery by Eriq Kitchen. Hopson felt that his defense played well at times, but also sputtered.
"I thought at times we did some really good things defensively. We probably didn't play our best defensive or offensive game today, but I felt like we played pretty well on defense. At the end of the day, it's a 'W'."
Former local standout Neil McLaurin caught a 55-yard touchdown from Jack Abraham which was converted on third and long. Abraham had nothing but good things to say about his wide receiver.
"He has a big frame, big body. He can make guys miss and he can get behind DB's. It's something that makes my job a lot easier. I talk about that all the time, but having a guy like that out there is a pretty good luxury for me. It was third and long, we were just trying to take a shot. I knew Neil was going to beat him and I knew he was going to give me a chance to throw it up there and let him make a play. He made a great play on the ball."
Southern Miss will hit the road next week to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The contest is slated for 2:30 p.m.
Tonight marked the second 100+-yard receiving game of Jordan Mitchell’s Southern Miss career, as he finished with 133 yards.
Jack Abraham registered the 8th 200+ yard passing game of his Southern Miss career in just 10 games played.
DQ Thomas recorded the first interception of his Southern Miss career after intercepting Noah Johnson’s pass at the Alcorn State 42 yard line in the second quarter. Thomas registered a single game career-high seven total tackles and five solo tackles.
Racheem Boothe notched the first forced fumble of the season for Southern Miss. Boothe’s forced fumble led to a fumble recovery by Eriq Kitchen. The fumble recovery was the first of Kitchen’s Southern Miss career.