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Sneak Peek: The Southern Miss Golden Eagles

A rematch of an ugly 2018 contest

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be taking a quick look at every Auburn opponent on the 2020 schedule.

2019 Record: 7-6 (5-3)

2020 Signing Class: 78th (6th C-USA)

Head Coach: Jay Hopson (5th Season)

Key Departures:

  • RB De’Michael Harris - 113 carries 541 yds 4.8 avg 5 TD 34 rec 346 yds 103 TD
  • OL Drake Dorbeck - 2nd Team All-Conference Team
  • DT Demorrio Smith - 21 tackles 3.0 TFL 0.5 sack FF
  • DL Terry Whittington - 32 tackles 8.5 TFL 7.5 sacks
  • DB Ky’El Hemby - 93 tackles TFL 2 INT 3 PBU
  • DB DQ Thomas - 76 tackles 15.0 TFL 5.5 sacks 3 INT PBU TD

Key Returners:

  • QB Jack Abraham (RSr) - 275/405 (67.9%) 3,496 yds 19 TD 15 INT 6 rushing TDs
  • RB Kevin Perkins (RSr) - 103 carries 547 yds 3 TD 7 rec 46 yds 6.6 avg
  • WR Tim Jones (Sr) - 73 rec 902 yds 12.4 avg 3 TD
  • WR Quez Watkins (RSr) - 64 rec 1,178 yds 18.4 avg 6 TD
  • WR Jaylond Adams (RJr) - 10 KR 308 yds 30.8 avg 2 TD 12 PR 110 yds 9.2 avg TD
  • DL Jacques Turner (RSr) - 46 tackles 13.0 TFL 6.0 sacks PBU
  • LB Swayze Boseman (Sr) - 57 tackles 6.0 TFL 4.5 sacks 2 FR FF
  • LB Santrell Latham (RJr) - 55 tackles 7.5 TFL 1.5 sacks
  • DB Shannon Showers (Jr) - 57 tackles 0.5 TFL 2 INT 3 PBU FF


Two years ago Auburn defeated Southern Miss 24-13 in a three hour lightning delayed contest. I vaguely remember the game, mostly the frustration that it would never end. Oh and it’s the time Derrick Brown went superman.

But check the box score of that night and you will notice some very familiar names. Jack Abraham, Quez Watkins, Tim Jones and Jaylond Adams were all wide eyed youngsters when they visited Jordan-Hate Stadium. This fall they return as proven playmakers hoping to close that 11 point gap and pull off a stunner.

Abraham completes his passes as his 67% completion rate shows. That number is even higher when you include his 15 interceptions. Ball doesn’t hit the ground often when he’s throwing it, just so happens sometimes it ends up in the other team’s hands. He only averaged 4.9 yards a completion in 2018 and threw 2 picks. If USM is going to be a factor in the C-USA this season they really need their senior trigger man to take a big step forward this fall.

His favorite targets return. Watkins is the playmaker of the bunch averaging over 18 yards a catch last season and 6 TDs. Tim Jones is the chain mover who caught over 70 passes in 2019 and almost eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark. Adams is the youngest of the bunch but a special teams nightmare. He returned 2 kicks and a punt for touchdowns last fall. Auburn’s coverage units had some breakdowns last season they better avoid when Adams has the ball in his hands.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Golden Eagles lose their 1st Team All C-USA defensive back D.Q. Thomas who impressively lead the teams in tackles for loss with 15 and interceptions at 3. The 2nd level of the defense is back though as is #2 sack man Jacques Turner. This unit was better than the offense last season per SP+ but might take a slight step backwards in 2020.

Hopefully there are no 3+ hour delays this go around and the Tigers can put a few more points on the board earlier to make us all feel better. USM has some veteran offensive weapons returning but they are going to have their work cut out for them moving the ball against this Tiger defense.

War Eagle!