In Hattiesburg, on Thursday, September 4 at 8 pm, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles will have the privilege of being one of the first FBS programs to open the 2020 Fall Football Season. USM is visibly thrilled to start playing games. Their head coach, a Vicksburg native Jay Hopson is thrilled too but he is aware that his squad will have to settle down and implement if they want to start the season with a win and he loves this matchup because it puts the state of Mississippi in the limelight.“I think it’s always good to play the local team. I think that’s one thing that we’ve done pretty well in the last four or 5 years. I think anytime you play teams in this region I think it creates interest. I think it’s the games fans want to come to. It’s good for the game and it’s good for football in this area.”
Jay Hopson preparation for the game
Vicksburg native Jay Hopson is gearing up for his fifth season as the head football coach for the University of Southern Mississippi, he is aware that his team will have to settle down and implement to get a win but it will be a totally different atmosphere, he said “You got to bring your own juice. You really do. I think all coaches will probably be talking to their players about that. It’ll be a different feel. You know you’re used to coming out to the band and all that. But still, the great thing is that they get an opportunity to compete and play the game that they love. I think they were trying to get back to some sense of normalcy and this is the first step.”
High expectations from jack Abraham
Quarterback Jack Abraham is starting his third year as the starter of the program, and he has never experienced higher expectations. Abraham said, “The guys on the team, I think they’re ready to play”. He shared ‘’we’ve been sitting around long enough with all these uncertainties and whether we’ll be able to play or not, and now we’re here.” He further added “As coaches, we’re just doing our best to try and make sure we give these kids an opportunity to play football and do the things they want to do, what they love to do,” Hopson said. “Again, we’re just trying – it’s one little piece of the puzzle just trying to make sure we get our lives and get normalcy back in our lives. I think a lot of people out there across the country do wanna watch a little college football so hopefully, we’ll do our job of putting it out there and putting a good product on the field.”
Scores of South Alabama and Southern Miss
Last year South Alabama went 2-10 but broke a 9-game losing streak by defeating Arkansas State 34-30 in the season finale. Southern Miss is coming down a 7-6 season and is 28-22 with three bowl berths in four seasons under coach Jay Hopson.