Southern Miss Football Opens Season at South Alabama

Published 3:51 pm Friday, September 3, 2021

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The 105th season of Southern Miss football gets underway Saturday in Mobile, as the Golden Eagles travel to Hancock Whitney Stadium to face South Alabama at 7 p.m.

Fans not traveling to the game can see the contest via ESPN+ and as well as listen to one of the affiliates of the Southern Miss Sports Network by Learfield or at the SiriusXM app on channel 980.

Two first-year coaches, Will Hall for the Golden Eagles, and Kane Wommack for the Jaguars, match up in the opener. Wommack played three seasons in the Southern Miss program, finishing during the 2009 campaign.

The two teams met on the gridiron for the first time in their respective histories last season – South Alabama began football in 2009 and was a full Football Subdivision member in 2013 – with the Jaguars posting a 32-21 victory in that contest.

Under Hall, the Golden Eagles look to improve on their 3-7 season a year ago, that saw the Golden Eagles win two of their final four games. That included a 45-31 victory in the season finale at home against Florida Atlantic.

As for Hall, he came to Southern Miss after spending the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Tulane. This will also be the third head coaching stop for the Amory, Miss., native who spent three years each at West Alabama and West Georgia. Over those six seasons, he posted a 56-20 record.

Heading into the year, the Golden Eagles returned 50 letterwinners from a season ago including 26 starters.

On offense, the Golden Eagles start with sophomore quarterback Trey Lowe III, who started in three of the final four games and recorded 433 yards in the air on 36-of-59 passes for a 61 completion percentage and a pair of touchdowns.

Lowe will be joined by Frank Gore, Jr., who registered 708 yards on 121 rushes and a pair of touchdowns. In his initial season, Gore, Jr., rushed for over 100 yards three times and Southern Miss won in each of those contests.

Also back is leading receiver Jason Brownlee, who paced the squad in receptions (34), yards (610) and touchdown catches (5) in 2020.

On the offensive front, Arvin Fletcher looks to start in his 48th game in the opener with it being his first career nod at center. Khalique Washington also returns with 19 starts and Bryce Foxworth with 18.

Over on defense, second-team All-Conference USA performer Hayes Maples comes back to anchor the defense. Maples led the Golden Eagles in tackles last season with 91, which included 8.0 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

The second-leader tackler from 2020, Malik Shorts, also comes back after 81 stops a year ago. Santrell Latham, who finished second on the squad in tackles for loss last year with 6.5, comes back having posted 49 total tackles and Averie Habas added 56 tackles.

Following the South Alabama contest, the Golden Eagles make their home debut next week when they entertain Grambling State, Saturday, Sept., 11, at The Rock.

Season and single game tickets still remain for the 2021 six-game home schedule and can be purchased by going online at, by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or 601-266-5418, as well as emailing