Southern Miss’ special teams unit has been special this season. Tonight was no different. Only this time it did not come from speedster Jaylond Adams, but Jordan Mitchell who blocked a punt in the first quarter that set the tone for the entire game. Add Jack Abraham’s 351 yard night which included a 74-yard touchdown to De’Michael Harris and that gave the Golden Eagles a 31-13 victory over UTEP.
Abraham had a season-high night for passing touchdowns, throwing three on the evening. It started with the 74-yard touchdown to Harris, a 22-yard pass to Mitchell in the second quarter, and a six-yard pass to Adams in the third quarter. Abraham found eight different receivers on the night including Quez Watkins who led the team in receiving yards with 97 yards on two receptions.
Harris also had a great night, scoring a rush touchdown from two-yards out in the first quarter. Harris totaled 46 yards on nine attempts rushing, along with two receptions for 80 yards. Kevin Perkins led the way rushing with 65 yards on 11 attempts.
Andrew Stein also booted a field goal from 38-yards out as the first half came to a close. He missed on a potential career-long 42-yard attempt in the fourth quarter.
Ky’el Hemby led the way for the Southern Miss on defense with nine tackles and a pass break-up. Tyree Evans and Eriq Kitchen also came up with a sack each, while Darius Kennedy had 1.5 sacks with the other half-sack going to Jacques Turner.
UTEP’s Kai Locksley and Brandon Jones split time at quarterback to combine for 168 passing yards on 28 attempts. Locksley also rushed for 114 yards on 12 attempts and had the Miners lone touchdown of the evening that came in the first 80 seconds of the third quarter when he broke loose for a 63-yard scamper.
The win improves the Golden Eagles to 3-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. They play host to North Texas October 12th which is also a homecoming game for USM. UTEP falls to 1-3 (0-1) on the season.